Be Respectful, patient and kind: How youth are building a better world online

MediaSmarts asked Canadian teens attending a Digital Youth Summit what they do to make the online world better for everyone. Here’s what they said:

 What rules do you think we should live by?

Be respectful. Be kind. Be patient with other people.

Treat people the way you want to be treated. You don’t know what battles they are fighting so keep an open mind and be empathetic.

If I meet someone new and take a picture with them in it I would ask their permission before posting it.

How do you keep a lid on arguments and disagreements?

Be positive when you’re online. Don’t call people “stupid” or “idiot” even when you are disagreeing with what they are saying: try to explain why they are wrong instead of calling them names.

Make new posts to apologize for something you said or to clarify it.

How can you help other people when you’re online?

Try supporting others who are having a bad time.

Understand that people are not inherently bad – they may have made mistakes in the past but they learn and grow from them.

When helping someone going online for the first time, be patient! A lot of people in my life aren’t very tech savvy so because the older generation doesn’t pick things up as quickly as we do you have to help them along and it will eventually click.

Don’t just limit it to the Internet: everywhere just have compassion and empathy for others.