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February 11th was Safe Internet Day for showing our youth how to be safe and respectful on the Internet.  What kind of an Internet role model are you?  Leaders need to demonstrate this every day and not just one day of the year.

What Did You Say?

If you are on your phone or tablet and claim you can multitask, then you should never ask the question “What did you say?”  The simple answer is to just put the phone down.   Focus on the moment and the person(s) around you.  Most of us our guilty!  I am working on this bad habit and some days are better than others.

It’s ironic at the family dinner table when my daughters call me out as I glance at my phone (it is true, your own medicine tastes bad).  Thank you to my family!

Always Take The High Road

You do not have to rant or express your negative opinion when you post or reply online.   Take the high road.  Acknowledge criticism and negativity.   Address it in a positive way or avoid it.  If it does not affect you, your family, your team or your company than just ignore it.

Why do so many feel they have to voice their negative opinion and always take a stand?  Can we just leave things alone and let them be?  I find there are so many naysayers fighting all these battles.  It does not have to be about being right and proven others wrong.  I challenge them to channel this energy into something positive and make a world of difference.  Game on!

Engage Our Youth

Start the conversation with our youth.   Reach out to them and have them share their aspirations and their dreams.   They are our future and we should encourage and support them.  Make it about them instead of us.   Ask them to participate and interact in a positive way online.   What are their interests?  What would they like to do to change the world?

Safe and positive dialogue with our youth is important.   My daughters are 19 (almost 20) and 22.  I learned a lot watching them grow up interacting in the digital world.   Fortunately, being in the technology sector, it helped to be ahead of the curve and understand what they were doing and the pressure of belonging online.  We also witnessed cyberbullying.  Leaders and parents must educate our youth and provide them with the skills to deal with this in the proper manner.

Avoid Controversy

Be positive.  Be positive all the time.   Be supportive.  Treat everyone with respect and support conversations at every opportunity.  Radio silence and negativity does not help anyone.   Get out of your own comfort zone and be a role model.  Remember to avoid controversy.

Step up and make a difference.   It is in all of us and we bring so much to the table to help our youth.  Together, we can create a safe Internet environment, break down barriers, learn and help each other along our journeys.

How are you being an Internet role model?

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