How to be kinder online
Online can be an overwhelmingly negative place. Many people feel as though they can write or say anything without thinking about the impact on others.
Most negative comments and posts are formed on the spur of the moment during a period of low or bad mood. These individuals have not assessed the negative damage their words can cause to online mental wellbeing.
Being negative online can disrupt your own mental health. Getting caught up in the toxic behaviour of negatively commenting and posting online can leave you feeling deflated and depressed.
After your mind is clearer, you may feel embarrassed, ashamed, and anxious. Unfortunately, once you have posted or commented something negative online the damage is more than likely already done.
Many YouTubers, politicians, and actors have dramatically ended their careers within the blink of an eye because of their negative posts and comments online. Digital footprint is extremely important.
Ways in which you can be kinder online
1. Practice positivity when online
Whatever your involvement online, make sure it is a positive one.
Being optimistic all the time isn’t the goal. However, if you do not feel in a good mood, or feel as though you could write something negative, walk away from the screen. This is especially true when you want to communicate directly to one person.
Make sure you are only commenting and posting online when you feel as though you have something positive to say, otherwise move on.
2. Stop and think before you post or comment
Thinking before posting or commenting online can do wonders for your own mental health as well as others online.
Think about who might be looking at your comment and how they may feel before you post. Put yourself in the shoes of someone who may look at your comment and be affected negatively. Ask yourself if your input is needed and if it will encourage the negativity. Is there a way you can defuse online arguments in a positive way or is it best to just let it go and switch off?
Posting and commenting online should always come with the consideration of others. Not only does it safeguard your own mental wellbeing and digital footprint but it is also the right thing to do.
Ask yourself the following questions:
- Does this need to be said?
- If I post or comment on this, will it negatively affect someone else?
- How would I feel if someone commented this on my post?
- Am I being kind?
- Will this affect someone if I post?
- Consider if you would say this to the person in person
3. Share positive news and helpful reviews
Sharing your honest and optimistic experiences and reviews is a great way to become more positive online. It gives you a platform to truly celebrate when you have enjoyed an experience and share it with others.
Writing helpful and positive reviews will inspire companies to understand what they have done well and why customers should go to them.
Posting about your own successes and good news gives you a chance to feel a sense of accomplishment and allows others to feel proud. It encourages and inspires others to follow in your success, making it feel as though it is achievable for them.
Creating a positive digital footprint by sharing good reviews and news contributes to positivity in your readers, promoting businesses and your own successes.
4. Take a step back from online/social media
It’s tough to take a step back from the online world in today’s digital climate.
The online world and social media have embedded themselves within all of our lives, both personally and professionally so it can be hard to get away from.
However, taking a step back for just a few hours out of the day- can be life-changing for mental wellbeing. In a recent interview for Yahoo life, John Legend commented on how turning away from social media was ”truly better for my mental health. I just found it better for my mental health to stay away.”
Switching off for a couple of hours a day, or if you want to really challenge yourself go without social media for a week. This can make a huge difference to give you some breathing space. After the well-deserved break, you will feel a new energy of positivity and being kind online will become easier.
The University of Leicester offers a Student Assistance Programme with Health Assured! Our team of counsellors are here for you 24/7 for a confidential discussion about how you’re feeling. Don’t be afraid to reach out and get the wellbeing support you need
Call us on: 0800 028 3766
Or visit: healthassuredeap.co.uk (Username: wellbeing / Password: MoveMindTime1)
Or download the Health Assured ‘Wisdom’ app and use unique code MHA177874
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