Ours and the upcoming generations are the ones that have practically grown up with social media and I really think that there's no going back. Our lives are interwined with the world wide web for eternity, it seems. So accepting that fact, I believe that there are certain things that we can certainly do to make our online presence and time spent online more effective and beneficial for us as well as others.
The same way we strive for changes in our offline lives to be a better person, to be more positive, to be more responsible, I think our online selves deserve this improvement as well. And with every passing hour, I feel like these changes are necessary.
So what can we do?
Here are a few thingst that have been on my mind for it:
Make others feel welcome in your online social bubble
Have you ever stopped to wonder if your social media presence feels inclusive and welcoming? Just like we try to be nice and polite in our social circles. our online profiles can make that difference to newer people who might decide to enter our online social bubbles and consume the stories/ posts/ photos and thoughts we might share. It's good to keep a check on how we're behaving on that front.
Try to strike a balance between talking about topics
Too much of anything is never a good thing. Whether it's promoting your own business, talking about politics, talking about current events, sharing pictures of what you're cooking during quarantine; just make sure that the frequency with this is healthy. Yes, these are undeniably important topics for you personally and you totally have the liberty to post about it. But a good thing to keep in mind is that these are shared platforms and others visit your profiles and view the content you put out. So it can be a good idea to have a healthy balance between the positive and negative stuff you're sharing.
Stop spreading unnecessary hate
I, personally have a very hard time trying to understand why hate spreads so fast on social media compared to all the amazing stuff small creators are trying to do. It is one of the things I truly dislike about social media. While we are entitled to having opinions or drawing certain conclusions about people and events based on our knowledge and experience, it is wrong to enforce that opinion on someone else or call people out in rude, violent manners.
If the issue is pretty serious and needs attention, try and educate people instead of spewing anger all over your stories and DMs for people who don't agree with you.
Voice your opinions responsibly
I find such a rush on people's Twitter accounts and Instagram stories to put forth their opinions about trending topics. Yes, your opinion matters. And because it matters, it's our responsibility to be responsible about our opinion.
Personally, I believe in educating ourselves about the issue at hand. Just because someone doesn't put up their opinions online does not mean that they are doing nothing about it offline.
While social media is great for letting us share things in a second, it also allows us to slip away from our accountability and the authencity of our opinions.
I could go on and on about this, but the gist is, to be responsible about our opinions.
Respect a different opinion
Having an opinion is just one side of the coin. The other is to accept that just like you processed the event and came to certain views about it, so did a lot of other people. And not all of those people are going to look at it through your lens. They'll have their own which will result into an opinion which differs from yours.
An incident is experienced by people based on the context that they are in, which results in different opinions and that's OKAY.
People won't always agree with what you say and that's okay too.
A lot of things can be looked at from multiple perspectives and can be thoroughly thought upon before labelling them as right or wrong and casting them into star black or white categories. There are a lot of greys in between that deserve acknowledgement.
Understanding what's going on is the main here; not being right.
Surround yourself with good content
Positive and encourgaging posts are often cast aside as 'cheesy' or 'too much'. But we need them. We really do. You may not even consciously notice what you're being 'fed' on your feed but the content you look at matters.
And when this content is positive, uplifting and helpful for you in any way possible, it'll make your association with social media a better one. You'll enjoy using that platform and you'll get something good out of it. It won't feel like wasted time when the content you've been consuming was helpful for you.
On many days, I spend HOURS on Youtube but I never feel like I've wasted that time because the content I mostly consume revolves around good entertainment, learning, productivity, ways in which I can improve in many areas of my life and so on!
Appreciate others more often
An active way for you to be a better person online is to appreciate others more often. Whether it's commenting on a post that really moved you, or supporting someone by sharing their work or letting people know about things that can make their lives better - these are small ways in which you can appreciate other people and help them. Not only are you being kind to others, you're also slowly learning to be more grateful.
Spread the word about people/ businesses/ organisations/ accounts you admire
Trust me, small creators need this. I am pretty small creator and I know that it makes my day when someone shares something they liked about Save Ourselves or appreciates my work in any way. I'm sure a lot of people you know create amazing things as well.
Support them! Share their accounts on your stories or spread the word about them. You're not only helping them out, but you're also making genuine, loyal connections.
Share things you are passionate about
One of most beautiful things to me is when someone's passion about something cannot escape them. Their actions show it. And it's nice to share these things with others. If you share your passions with people, you're going to grow yourself for sure. Along with that, you're encouraging others to do the same. This forms a very positive chain. We need more of this. So keep doing that!
Review your online behaviour periodically
We are bound to falter a little at times, and that can happen online as well. Maybe we snapped at someone we didn't mean to, maybe we were rude to someone who tried suggesting us ways to make our content better, maybe we got offended unnecessarily (believe me I do this a lot), maybe we were a little negative - these things happen. And that's okay.
If we are aware of it and take responsibility for it, we are making important changes in our life. We can amend our behaviour by taking it into account from time to time.
Be a little more kind
We could use this offline as well as online! Sometimes we can be a little quick to judge people based on their profiles (which is NOT how people always are offline) and then treat them based on that judgement. While I also understand that being too friendly on the internet can pose a few problems, there is no need for us to be cold.
We can be a little more kinder to people everyday without putting ourselves at risk.
These are the 11 ways that I think we can add to our life to become a more positive person on the internet. Trust me, we need it!
I hope that this blogpost was useful to you in some way or the other. Let me know what you think in the comments below!
Here's the video about this topic: