Digital Self: Personal (Social) Media Competences and Resilience
Personal (Social) Media Competences and Resilience
Digital Self (funded by the Austrian Bundeskanzleramt) is designed to support the development of digital competences, digital resilience among young women and girls to empower and enable their participation in the digital realm of today’s society. The rapid development of digital technologies and communication media has been changing our lives individually and our society as a whole. As a result of this digital transformation, the use of digital communication is now firmly anchored in everyday life throughout all social classes and are considered “key qualifications for participation in modern society”.
In addition to traditional communication, these new digital media also offer opportunities for digital (self)presentation and for creating a feeling of connectedness in virtual social networks. On the other hand, however, problems such as cyberbullying (if, for example, one’s own identity designs provoke negative reactions) arise primarily with the use of social media, which in turn can have serious effects on the self-esteem and self-perception of users – and with rapidly increasing frequency. These harmful effects can be observed disproportionately in women and girls in particular.
“Digital Self” takes an integrated approach to building and expanding digital skills with special consideration and addressing of everyday challenges. The application-oriented project units (workshops, further training, presentation of results) are therefore a) with a strong focus on case studies (analysis and deconstruction of social media content) carried out; b) provide constructive strategies and methods for the digital self (“digital self”) ready in relation to empowerment in dealing with digital media offers and digital resilience.
The planned measures are aimed at giving girls and women digital skills support and strengthening their digital resilience. Concrete measures are split into three complementary focus areas: digital competence, digital resilience, and the training of multiplicators.
Workshops on empowerment through competence building: Getting to know the requirements of a digital society, classifying the pluralism of supply in the digital space. On the one hand, this is realized in the form of practice-oriented workshops in which problem-solving approaches to real-life contexts such as job hunting, the creation of digital Content (portfolios, project work) or when dealing with social media are a central element. This measure places an emphasis helping participants develop their personal skills to the next level. On the other hand, participants develop a personal “Strategy plan Digital Self:Competent” through interactive individual and group consultations.
Workshop on building resources for digital resilience: example-based discussion of dangers in digital space, deconstruction of gender stereotypes and identity staging with a focus on mediated body images. Planned workshops deal with individual management of online activities to develop both the necessary knowledge, skills and confidence to be able to navigate the digital space confidently. Also, in interactive discussions participants will analyse the causes and consequences of online stress such as body image stereotyping. Critical deconstruction methods will be a central element here, both in the form of example-guided analyses as well as in the reflection of short experiments on media content. Participants will also work on developing of a personal “Strategy plan Digital Self:resilient”.
Training and counseling offers for multipliers: for female advisers as further training on digital skills in counseling for girls and women, as well as teachers with a focus on basic digital education in schools.Together with the teachers, the Digital Self project can accompany school projects in which digital media and technologies enrich the thematic content of the lessons. The resulting workshops enable the students a reflective approach to digital media, deconstruction of stereotypical online identities.
Digital Self has set itself the overarching goal of supporting girls and young women in the reflected use of digital communication technologies and equipping them with digital skills that enable equal participation in the digital environment, as well as young women in to encourage their choice of training and profession for a career in STEM-related topics. More specifically, the project’s aims are therefore concerned with the sustainable development of an informed and competent self-image through the development of digital skills and digital resilience (see figure). The three main goals of the project, towards which the individual measures are geared, include:
The empowerment of girls and young women through targeted skills development for dealing with and navigating through digital spaces in order to enable equal participation in the digital society
The promotion of digital resilience with regard to dangers in the digital space, as well as gender stereotypes and (idealized, physical) identity staging
The targeted training of for multipliers (female counselors and teachers) to strengthen digital skills and digital resilience among girls and young women (cooperation with “Entry Compass – Educational counseling for girls, https://einstieg.or.at)
Bernd Resch(project lead), Eva Maria Steinbacher, Christina Zorenböhmer, Petra Scherer, Ruth Mayr