Time needed: 30–40 minutes
Just like communities that meet in person, digital communities are connected by goals, interests, or other similarities. They connect on a platform, such as a website, messaging app, video game, or photo-sharing platform. The community members might be guided by common values. They might follow a common set of rules to guide how they interact online.
Your feed is a collection of content from the digital communities you belong to. It includes posts from the people and businesses you connect with and updates from experts or influencers you follow. All of these small connections and pieces of data come together to create your feed. While scrolling and posting can be fun, it can also be used for larger goals. With a simple click, you can tailor what you see to focus on things you care about. You can follow others who support causes that are important to you. You can find information and explore upcoming events and actions.
Online, you might also encounter ads and messages from as many different points of view. They might tell you what to buy, how to look, or what to believe and value. You may encounter cyberbullies, catfish (people pretending to be someone they’re not), or trolls (people who intentionally start fights online with mean comments). You might get phishing emails (which are designed to try to get your private information) or messages scamming you for money. You might find ads with unrealistic bodies and a lack of representation for different groups of people.
As you scroll, pause and consider when you see something that you’re no longer interested in or that brings you down in some way. Reviewing what and who you follow every once in a while can keep your feed full of things you like and care about. And remember that any post is just one curated moment; it’s not the whole picture!
How can you make a difference in the digital world? How does digital leadership look different from or the same as leadership in real life? How can you show values digitally? After the internet was invented in 1983, it revolutionized how we communicate and share a message.
Choose a leader who lived before the internet. How did they stand up for their community then? How would they stand up today?
Imagine what the leader’s digital landscape would look like today:
Brainstorm how the leader could use technology to help with their goals. Then create a map of their imaginary digital landscape and footprint.
Afterwards, look at the map: Would you want to be a part of that community? If not, what can you learn from it? How can you be a leader online and offline? Imagine you are moderating a digital community with hundreds of people. How can you foster wellness online? How can they take care of themselves? How could they support and amplify others? What if there’s conflict?
Here are some other ideas on how you can take care of yourself and others on social media:
Staying on top of your connections and trimming the list of who you connect with online can open up space for new people. How you respond in the digital world can affect your life and the lives of others. Protecting your and other people’s privacy, insisting on kind and truthful interactions, and monitoring how being in the digital world affects your mood and others’ are all important aspects of being a digital leader.
Download the Badge Requirements. (PDF)
Troop Leaders: The instructions for all badge steps are available free of charge in your Girl Scout Volunteer Toolkit.
Girl Scout Activity Zone activities have been adapted from existing Girl Scout programming.
Adapted from Step 3 of the Senior Digital Leadership badge. Purchase the official badge booklet to complete all requirements and earn the badge.
Made possible by a generous grant from Instagram.