What is the role of the citizen in the age of information and communication technologies?
Digital civic engagement has garnered interest and advocacy due to the perceived potential to leading a new generation of digital citizens with renewed and fundamentally different approach to citizenship.
In the context of education, according to the International Society for Technology in Education, digital citizenship refers to technology standards for young students focuses on the conscientious use of technology, demonstrates responsible use of information, and maintains a good attitude for learning with technology. However, these standards do not promote the idea that critical literacy and civic responsibility are equally important characteristics of a digital citizen.
“Citizenship is a status that is bestowed on those who are full members of a community” – T H Marshall 1949
If a traditional definition of an engaged citizen is one who votes, read to stays informed, writes to public officials, is engaged with his community and attends to public meetings, a digital citizen is one who wants to engage with government the same way she or he engages in other aspects of life – electronically, and increasingly through apps on a mobile device. According to Pew, currently 84% of American adults use the internet, making it an integral part of everyday life across diverse parts of society.
But are citizens more able than they were in pre-digital times to participate in day-to-day politics, question, comment upon, challenge and influence the decisions of those who govern them?
At Cityflag we are sure that digital citizenship, but also active and engage citizens can help us move into a governance system in which political action and political participation is not a synonym of complaints and petitions, because with higher level of involvement, people move to a position were they have to make the decisions themselves, and therefore will have to own the responsibility. This upgrades system of engaged dynamics will ultimately lead to action that are more proactive and creative.
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