Tip #26 – Encourage Kids to Nourish the Web with Authentic, Honest Content

Jan 26

The message to inject truth and integrity into our digital footprint is a simple one. Yet,  the pressure to increase traffic, go viral, or acquire more “followers” is more often the motivation that drives our online presence.

His Holiness, Pope Benedict XVI, wrote an inspiring letter for the 45th World Communications Day, impelling the young to use the “unprecedented opportunities (of the digital age) for establishing relationships and building fellowship.” This relevant and timely message emphasizes that the new communications technologies can be used to serve the good of the individual and all of humanity.

Recognizing the challenges that young people face online, the pope asks them to “not give in to the illusion of constructing an artificial public profile of oneself.” And, reminds us to build an online presence that derives its worth through integrity, not popularity. To build a cyber space that offers nourishment, rather than a “fleeting attraction.” With the barrage of messages promoting the contrary, this is harder than it sounds.

Certainly, the need to grow popularity is a necessary component of successful online strategies. To ignore this fundamental fact of online business would mean certain failure. However, within this structure there are still plenty of opportunities to share authentic experiences that will build a kinder, more supportive cyber-environment.

In other words, we need to teach our kids a moral code in the “virtual” world that reflects  our “real” world expectations. Can we teach our kids to hold the door open in cyberspace? Hm. Yeah, I think we can. It’s time to start.

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