Digital Citizenship: Health and Wellness
Citizenship can be described as “the quality of an individual’s response to membership in a community”. Hence, this is the same for digital citizenship within a digital community (Heick, 2013). The idea of digital citizenship is quickly increasing around the world and relates to how we should act online and what we should teach the next generation. There is much discussion on how people can abuse technology because they are unaware of how to use it properly, so digital citizenship can teach them how to use it appropriately (Ribble, 2014). There are nine elements involved in digital citizenship and this blog will focus on and discuss the ‘digital health and wellness’ aspect. This factor involves using technology in a safe and responsible way, in order to avoid physical and psychological health problems.
One main factor involved with the health and wellness aspect of digital citizenship is ergonomics; physically using the computer in a safe manner. The aim of ergonomics is to eliminate distress and injuries related to the overworking of muscles and the repetition of work (CDC, 2014). This can involve sitting up with a straight back, keeping a safe distance from the computer screen and sitting for short periods of time. If you are not aware of and do not follow these factors then you can cause yourself physical pain such as arthritis, back strain or eye problems. Personally, I can relate to this aspect of health and wellbeing as I get bad back pain if I sit in the one position at the computer for too long and also suffer from eye strain. Therefore, I need to be aware of ergonomics in order to avoid these problems. One statistic regarding office workers states that their day involves being sat in front of a computer screen for 95% of their day, which highlights the importance of digital citizens being aware of ergonomics (OSHA, 2010).
In addition to the physical problems you can suffer from when using technology, there are also psychological issues to be aware of. It is claimed that internet addiction is now categorised worldwide as a severe problem and can include; online relationship addiction, internet obsession and “information overload” (Vogel, 2013). Internet addiction is one of the most common psychological problems and can cause serious lack of sleep, behavioural issues and academic troubles. However, Digital Citizenship involves its users being instructed on how to keep safe when using technology (Ribble, 2014). Although, I do not personally suffer from internet addiction, I do get distracted a lot by social networking sites when studying or doing University work, and have to switch my phone off to concentrate.
This video, from YouTube, expands on the different factors involved with internet addiction and should give a further understanding on the topic: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SlDZa474VZ0
Overall, digital health and wellness is just one specific part of Digital Citizenship as a whole. It covers both the physical (ergonomics) and psychological aspects of using technology. It is important to follow and adhere to the information involved with digital health and wellness in order to avoid dangers when using technology in the Digital Citizenship community.
CDC. (2014). Workplace Safety and Health Topics: Ergonomics and Musculoskeletal Disorders. Retrieved from http://www.cdc.gov/niosh/topics/ergonomics/
Ergonomics-info. (2010). Ergonomics in the Workplace. Retrieved from http://www.ergonomics-info.com/ergonomics-in-the-workplace.html
Heick, T. (2013). The Definition of Digital Citizenship. Retrieved from http://www.teachthought.com/technology/the-definition-of-digital-citzenship/
NASA Goddard Space Flight Center. (2013). Safety Awareness Campaign – Ergonomics 101. Retrieved from https://www.flickr.com/photos/nasa_goddard/8698794145/
Nsdcni. (2011). Digital Health and Wellness. Retrieved from http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SlDZa474VZ0
Ribble, M. (2014). Digital Citizenship. Retrieved from http://www.digitalcitizenship.net/
Vogel, P. (2013). Digital Health and Wellness. Retrieved from https://cunedigitalcitizenship.wikispaces.com/Digital+Health+and+Wellness