I want to be aware of how my online behaviour can affect others.
Be a Practitioner and Supporter of Digital Inclusion
An easy way to understand digital inclusion
When we say digital inclusion, you imagine microchips implanted in people, big companies working with robots…. but no! it’s a suite of offers, services, solutions, and initiatives that aims to make digital technology more accessible so that everyone can benefit from it in our world of today.
Why we are talking about it right now? A simple example would be that today only 54% of the world’s population has internet access...The rest 3.6 billion people cannot read the article like you are doing now on safe space, can you imagine that?
Not only that, but the digital inclusion has also become part of our day to day life activities and tools, which changed the way we live in the world, things have been speedup, prices have been reduced and the amount of effort needed to do it is no longer as much as it was before, with a competitive quality that we are looking for.
Here are some few examples of digital inclusion, I bet you can name many after reading the below:
- Following online courses with Harvard University in the US.
- Keeping in touch with family and friends who traveled abroad.
- Play online games with your friends.
- Online application that can translate many languages.
- Following and engaging in social media with others.
- Online shopping.
- Finding a job online.
- Enrolling in a university online.
What can you do?
You might ask yourself now, what can I do to help those who may be at risk of digital exclusion? Well, you have a greater role than ever to play in promoting digital inclusion.
In short, digital inclusion means no one is left behind, everyone is connected to each other’s and has access to the right content. If you have access to the digital world you hold certain power to act, influence, and also you can lead and play a role model to others by doing a positive impact first with yourself and second with everyone.
First, you need to learn who you are helping, today, the pace of technological change is enabling people to access all types of information in just a few clicks and perform several activities and transactions online.
However, this growing trend can strongly accentuate inequalities where it should be fixing or reducing them. Vulnerable individuals do not just need help understanding how to use technology, but also the right equipment for getting online and to help them get to the right content.
Looking from a global perspective again 16% (1.4 billion youth) of the population is just like you; so I want you to imagine what you could do with that collective power of action.
In the coming future, you will become the employee that you buy from the store, owner for a business, an influencer in the digital world, working in the government, and many other places that they affect you now directly. Imagine yourself as a teacher or a professor talking about this in the future and be proud of it, since the digital world is the trend, and everyone is going to be included.
In all worlds (the real one, digital, movie, etc.) they all have heroes but are called differently in each world, it could be a superhero in movies or a teacher in real life or influencer in the digital world, and you can become one by following these simple dots:
- You need to understand that you matter in this, so first you need to work on yourself and you should be able to explain the importance of digital inclusion.
- The human mind always tries to evaluate the information which leads to knowledge and finally to wisdom and good decision making. So, through digital inclusion, one can develop wisdom or knowledge which is highly important for your future.
- You should learn how to be tech-savvy and consider it as an important skill in front of others and take pride in it; an extra and valuable step would be is to spread awareness online on digital skills building.
- Engage with already existing platforms in schools, universities, and other institutions working on digital inclusion, volunteering, or working with them could a great asset since you are a key person in the community.
- Digital skills have become essential in today’s job market. Acquiring digital knowledge is crucial in a world where more than one out of two school children will work in a role, once they have graduated, which doesn’t even exist yet, it’s a concept hard to realize but it is happening.
- You need to understand that inequality among each other’s and excluding others will not support your community and your future but will cause harm, so you have a role and you matter in this.
I will add more concrete information for you to use as a role model of digital inclusion, and why you should do this, did you know that:
- Using the internet to look for a job reduces the time spent unemployed by 25%, which is a huge amount of time spent without an income.
- Increasing connectivity with others online by interacting can benefit our economy.
- Digital inclusion saved us during the COVID 19 lockdown.
- Remote health care is used more since it is saving more lives nowadays since it’s quicker.
Examples of digital inclusion supporters
How other people like you became champions in our world today:
- A partnership between Ty Llandaff care home and Ysgol Pencae in Cardiff in United Kingdom meant that older people who had never been online found out what the internet could offer them from primary school children who could not imagine life without it. They stated Meeting the Digital Heroes had a positive impact on the residents’ mental wellbeing and helped minimize the risk of loneliness.
- A group of 14-16-year-old police cadets were surprised to learn how their personal digital profiles could affect their future. But having had Digital Heroes training from Digital Communities Wales, they not only know how to keep themselves safe online but can share their knowledge and skills with other people. The Cadets are now able to protect their personal information and have a better understanding of the impact of their online behaviour.
All you need to do is look how during COVID 19 digital inclusion helped us as people in remaining connected, spreading awareness, working from home, online education and many other things that you would find out if you looked more. So, do you have any ideas? If you do, you have the potential to be a digital hero and make an impact on everyone around you, start now!