How I Became a Better Internet Citizen

The internet era that we live in is constantly transforming. As it becomes ubiquitous in our lives, the deeper we can feel the impact. Digital footprints can have real life consequences, like losing a job. It is our responsibility as consumers of the internet space to be considerate and conscious of the image we are presenting online, and what we are choosing to share. Today, I will be sharing my experience in learning about website building and social media platforms within the context of metaliteracy and digital citizenship.

Over the past three months, our Social Media Marketing class has taken a deep look into the meaning of metaliteracy and digital citizenship, which are becoming increasingly important habits for anyone who consumes digital media. When you choose to use a social media platform or publish a website, you are joining a community of people. Inherent in joining any community is the moral obligation to be conscientious of your fellow community members. On the internet, that means being mindful of what content you are sharing and how others receive it. Everyone has a right to their intellectual property, and it’s up to us to protect that right. It means understanding where what you share comes from, and who the content belongs to, so that they can be credited properly. Not crediting people for their work in real life is plagiarism and theft. Therefore, there is a moral obligation to practice good digital citizenship, or metaliteracy.  

I have been a citizen of the internet for many years, and getting the opportunity to build a website on WordPress this quarter was an interesting endeavor. It involved a lot of thought about digital citizenship, and stayed on my mind while I was making design decisions. Overall, I like the design of my website and what went into it. For one, I learned about the importance of Alt text, and making sure that the artwork I published is credited to me.I learned how to embed my Instagram feed onto my website so that the most recent posts show in a slideshow. I think this made my website more visually appealing, and allowed people to get a better sense of what image I am trying to pursue. Finally, I think the theme and design is cohesive. I wanted a theme that would feel like an art gallery (white walls, so that the art stands out). By adding colorful text, it allows both images and text to pop out and really make a statement. The design looks simple at first glance, but is very intentional.

I also endeavored to learn about the power of social media, and how to develop a strategy in using it. As we learned about amazing resources like Canva, Adobe Express, and new apps like Behance, it helped me understand that to develop my brand as a visual artist, I need to use apps that are designed for visual content to build my platform. These considerations are a part of digital citizenship too: what platforms you are active on change the perception of consumers. This helped me develop a consistent brand image and a clear vision of what I want to put in the world. Unfortunately, I didn’t have a lot of engagement on my posts. What that teaches me is that I need to expand my marketing strategy through search engine optimization and cross promotion across apps. 

This quarter has taught me a lot about the power of the internet, which is a vast and constantly growing entity. Going forward in my pursuits, I feel that I can be more mindful in what I share online, I can be more active in crediting creators, I can continue to build an online brand, and I can continue to develop a website. I was really nervous to take this class because of my beliefs about privacy and sharing content on the internet. However, I have been empowered to curate an image that consistently promotes my personal brand, and I have been empowered to be a more active, and more mindful digital citizen. In spirit of that, I wanted to publish some media that I have been empowered to post because of this class, and that I hope contributes to my personal brand. These are digital scrapbook pages that I created for different seasons of 2022.

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