What comes to mind when you hear about Millenials and Gen Z? Those stubborn high-tech generations? Or what?

I get used to with hearing people that older than my ages talking about how spoiling and pathetic were Millennials and Gen Z. But, are we really that unviable in term of being a digital citizen?

Well, as a Millennials, I definitely know how hard is it to juggle with social media life. It cannot be defeated that we all suffered to create a good image on the Internet. In this era where everything lived to be consumable by the world, somehow as a Millenials, we forget it own essentials to be a democratic human being. Social Media erratically take over our social aspects, and this is the social challenge that we can conquer for sure.

Social Media itself given each of us a medium to be heard, simply a pathway to freely expressing what we think. Meanwhile, by January 2018 according to the 2018 Global Digital suite of reports from We Are Social and Hootsuite, there are 4.021 Billion Internet Users around the world. And 3.196 Billion of them are actively using social media, I guess this is why User-Generated Content is a marketing trend right now.

People behind the screen

Within this high rate of penetration, how many of us actually know about “Netiquette”? A little brief about this, it was a term for a set of rules for behaving properly online. Netiquette term was triggered by Virginia Shea in her same-titled book. T, this Princeton Graduate already found this subject matter even since 1994, when she published her book.long before well-known social media such as Facebook or Instagram established.

There were 10 rules of Netiquette according to Shea, but let’s be brief to talk more about one of the most important points. It was the very first rule: “Remember the human”, why remember the human is? It was simply the began for everything? Once we remember that every interaction is actually involved real people in a real world, hopefully, we will be more wise and aware.

Knowing that basic rule is compulsory if you’re keen to also create a safer Internet usage in the future. There are so many times people debating about unwritten norms that supposedly become the ground rule of using the internet. Because it set the social restriction that we think will make us lose our determination for what we believe was right or true.

In this case, of course being differences and embrace how actually we want to live our life isn’t a crime, but we can’t be selfish then wish everything we did will solely be ours. Especially, social media influencer, people like them are likely shaped the way their followers will behave in their life.

Once again, we demand to received our rights of freedom due to the pleased existence of democracy system. As I previously stated about democratic, I think we missed a lot of our obligations. Shown by how we want to freely express our thoughts, but are we clear enough about how possible is it harm or disadvantageous another people?

Stated in CNN, based on a study from the Pew Research Center around 41% adults in the U.S. have been harassed online, and 66% claimed they witnessed harassing behavior online. Now it seems that internet usage isn’t only Millenials and Gen Z issue, it’s already a multi-generations issue.

There’s a real example of a local Game Youtubers who likely really inspires my 14-year-old nephew. This influencer well known for his free will lifestyle, and successfully making a huge concern in society, even discussed among his fellow YouTubers. Cursing or swearing bad words are both never be right, and this what goes on with his videos on Youtube, that obviously a public area.

Until one day there’s a netizen who made an online petition who wanted him to improve his talking habit as a public figure with major followers who are young people, that even classified as a child. Even I witness how much my nephew trying to look like him, and it’s not only in the way he talks. So many parents claimed to the social media that their children learning bad words from watching his videos online. Paired with other prominent Youtuber in my country, he posted a video in which he stands up that they don’t have an obligation to filter what he about to post, it’s a parental issue.

In my point of view, I think this is clearly showed that most a likely people do not recognize that today even kids are in cyberspace. And that’s only one of the reason why Netiquette is important. We see that Millenials and Gen Z wisdom aren’t enough to keep their ethics standard and though that lower personal behavior is acceptable.

Aside from make sure that an individual capable to filter proper source, as well as how to ethically behave online. Both things can be performed through socialization and enculturation of media literacy and Netiquette to the society.


  • Gita Suliawan

    Community Activator and Marketing Enthusiast

    Gita Suliawan is a marketing public relations practitioner and assistant lecturer at Universitas Indonesia. She demonstrated a history of working as a marketer and media relations. Suliawan's focus on human development also makes her involves to contribute to numerous specific projects which aiming youth and student since she was a high school student. Her previous projects are such as Indonesia Youth Forum, Indonesia Student Forum and ASEAN+ Children Festival, those are under her contribution to Indonesia Student and Youth Forum, ASEAN Youth Leader Association (AYLA), and others.