Sometimes being online can be an unpredictable, threatening and difficult environment to navigate. This is especially true when a young adult may have a differing opinion or is encountering offline discrimination. Building digital intelligence in young adults can assist in their management of relationships and to develop a respect for differences.
Digital intelligence can be displayed via demonstrating:
- Respect which exhibits understanding of cultural difference and respectful online communication. This leads to greater capacity to respond to online situations in a positive manner.
- Responsibility which shows the young adults understanding their responsibility while online to support others and speak out in non-offensive or harmful ways. Acting when they see or experience situations which are not acceptable, is also a positive indication of being responsible online.
- Empathy which is developed through their practice of actively supporting others in the online environment, especially social spaces online. To provide informed assistance in supporting and interacting with friends and peers and to reflect on their own digital and social practices will assist young adult’s digital intelligence.
- Resilience whereby young adults are able to identify their strengths, skills and coping strategies that can help them bounce back from stressful situations.
- Critical thinking demonstrating the ability to examine information so as to make an informed judgement on an issue. It is particularly important online, where information can be easily changed, manipulated or taken out of context.
Through time and practice to develop these digital intelligences, young adults are able to learn how to act with respect, appreciate diverse perspectives, communicate with empathy, negotiate with people who are different to us and develop leadership skills.