Technology is everywhere and constantly changing – it’s natural to feel like things are spinning out of control. It’s rational to feel like you don’t have enough power to change it.
Let’s explore another angle.
What control do you have? What is actually within your power? What would it mean to have digital agency: to feel motivated and able to control the way tech fits into your life?
We have power that we can reclaim when it comes to tech. We can cultivate our relationships with technology so that they nurture our well-being.
Certainly, a single person’s digital agency cannot resolve the broader issues in society related to tech. And, individuals should not have to shoulder the burden of correcting systemic problems alone. So where can one begin?
We can start by planting seeds within ourselves, families, and communities that foster digital agency. Youth especially crave a greater sense of control over the way tech fits into their lives, so helping them build digital agency can be particularly meaningful.
Ways to Start Building Digital Agency
Identify values and align tech use with them. >
Reflecting on how technology makes it harder or easier to live our values is an enlightening and revealing exercise. We notice how our tech habits align with our values and where we can make changes.
Include youth when decisions affect them. >
Inviting students to co-create school tech policies is agency-building. Try asking students: How do our current tech policies impact you? How could they better protect your learning and time with friends?
Cultivate mindful tech habits. >
We do not always notice how we are using technology, so pausing to notice our tech-related patterns can help us identify habits that are working well and that we would like to change.
Be mindful of how your digital agency contributes to digital thriving and compassionately consider the role you play in advancing the digital well-being of others.