Let’s face it, addicted to Facebook or not, you’re probably spending a lot of time online, be it for work or personal reasons. The Internet has encroached on so many aspects of our lives that it has become indispensable to many. With many of us living a part of our lives online, no matter how small or large that may be, it only follows that we extend the practice of mindful living in our daily online activities and with the people we mingle with there. We need to be equally mindful as we live our virtual lives on the World Wide Web.
Photo Credit: TravelMeAsia
So what are the ways that you can show mindfulness online?
Below are 7 simple ways you can show mindfulness online:
- Protect yourself – Mindful living is not only about what you can give to this world, but also about living a more peaceful and happier life. Guess what? If your computer gets all wonky due to a computer virus, or any of your online accounts gets hacked, your peace of mind will surely fly out the window. So protect yourself as your surf online by installing anti-malware and setting t on auto-update. Follow online security best practices and make sure you stay well away of sites that are breeding grounds for malware.
- Don’t join flame wars – If you wouldn’t be rude to people you meet everyday, why be rude online? Practice discretion online and don’t engage people who are obviously gunning for an argument or just can’t be reasoned with. Even if you feel that you are right, be respectful as you state your opinions and bow out of the argument before it gets heated.
- Think before you post anything – Go a step further in practicing discretion by pausing before you post anything, be it a comment or your own tweet/status update or a blog post. Ask yourself whether what you’re posting will add to a more positive online environment or not. If it won’t then you may be better off just deleting your draft. This includes whines and rants that might be harmless but still adds to the negativity.
- Share and re-share worthy content – Be it a trivial funny photo that will put a smile in people’s face, or a lengthy article espousing human rights, hitting that share button helps spread good karma points. Share only content that you know is worthy of being shared and stay away from negative posts. Photo Credit: Buddawiggi
- Respect people’s privacy – How many scandals have erupted online, ruining people’s reputation and lives, because of “trusted individuals” who post supposedly private material online? Although this will not happen for most people, ask yourself how many times you’ve posted photos or stories of your friends and family without their knowledge and not knowing whether they’re fine with it or not. Again, the key is thinking before you do anything online.
- Give more to charity – Giving to charity has never been easier, thanks to online payment methods. If you’ve haven’t been giving to charity as much as you think you should, then there’s no reason not to start now. Plenty of reputable charities have websites (e.g. UNICEF, World Wide Fund for Nature, Foundation for Prader Willi Research, World Cancer Research Fund, etc.) where you can give a one-time donation or even set-up an auto-debit arrangement on your credit card. Put your money where you mouth is by doing something online that has concrete results offline. Photo Credit: WWF
- Volunteer your skills for worthy causes – If giving money to charity is not your thing, or you really don’t have the financial resources to do that, then you still have the option of volunteering for worthy causes. It may be by writing content for a non-profit site, covering green or socially relevant events and submitting photos, helping with the website design, or doing data entry for charities. Take stock of your skills and do some volunteer work.
First published in August 2013; updated October 2021