I haven’t been spending much time online lately. I’m not complaining; It’s been quite nice, actually. This month, I’ve ventured to Bainbridge Island, Leavenworth (stopping several places in the mountains on the way), North Bend, and I even attended a Mariners game. However, upon coming back to the World Wide Web, I’ve come across some rather disheartening circumstances. I don’t mean to alarm you; An episode wasn’t had. However, eyebrows were raised. The Internet can be not only a time-suck, but a wallowing pool of toxicity. If you are an avid user of the Internet, this list applies to you, specifically.
Stop supporting sites that discredit artists. I’ve been guilty of this in the past (such as re-blogging photos on Tumblr from random folks who drag and drop), but I’m fessing up and changing my ways. Boycott websites such as We Heart It, which completely strip artists of their name. As an artist, it is extremely disheartening to see your work with no link to your name, or even worse, people claiming your work as their own.
Limit your online time. I’m not saying ditch the WWW completely this week (although, that wouldn’t be such a bad idea). When I was growing up, the Internet wasn’t as magnetic as it is now, but I was allotted (in the realm of) one hour a day to spend online. This rule was strongly enforced. How much time does the Internet take up of your day? Get Off The Internet.
Turn off notifications to your phone. In conjunction to spending less time online, limit your attention to those distracting red flags. It isn’t a vital part of your day to know exactly when Jennifer commented ‘lol’ on your Facebook status or when a stranger liked your Instgram photo because you tagged it #food. They are petty things, and you needn’t be bothered with them while you’re having lunch with your Aunt Carol.
Stop complaining about your crappy day on social networking sites. If you had a bad day, sit down and have a cup of tea (or whatever else you feel like “self medicating” on). Refrain from droning on about your kids/parents/partner/job/the weather/etc. If you feel like ranting, write a private blog post or scribble in a journal. This way, you won’t feel like such a jerk next week when the storm blows over.
Use the Internet for “good.” Many things in life are a doubled edged sword. The Internet does not escape this label. Instead of scrolling on Tumblr looking at pictures of cats or indulging in the latest celebrity gossip, consider spending your morning browsing educational sites such as National Geographic, or even feeding your spirit with a lesson in zenhabits. Yahoo! gives five, best education websites for adults.
Proclaim what you are grateful and happy for every day. If you’re not complaining about how the weather isn’t ideal, you may have time to replace those rants with posts of gratitude. You may inspire others to show their appreciation.
Here’s to a beautiful week.
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