While the Internet is an enormous gift, web-based activities can sometimes serve as a distraction. Disconnecting as a means of connecting is not always a bad thing. In an age saturated in digital touch points, we must strive to be mindful online. By fragmenting our daily activity, we are sometimes not present to either world: the one we are partaking in and the one we are sharing to.
Below are ten simple guidelines that have helped me (someone who’s entire business is woven through the online world!) and can serve as simple reminders:
1) To be mindful online is to remember that these clicks, likes, pokes, :)’s and :(‘s are energy spent, and precious moments and minutes of your day.
2) To be mindful online is to be present to you inner dialogue. It means observing the judgment or negativity in a reaction when seeing a photo, status or communication that stirs you up inside. It means connecting with how your body reacts to the ocean of interactions that lap at your fingertips.
3) To be mindful online means remembering the web can sometimes be a rabbit hole. Hours lost, energy consumed and unsure of what the outcome was; staying present means watching where your hands hover.
4) To be mindful online is to make a clear guideline of tasks and destinations you want to visit and keep to those. Then go outside and get some air.
5) To be mindful online is to take the lessons you learn, the quotes you retweet and then go apply them IRL (in real life).
6) To be mindful online is to be present offline. While some moments should be shared, some can be kept whole, like a message in a bottle only you hold. No need to Instagram, dissect with a tweet or publish it all.
7) To be mindful online means to use your precious human energy toward expanding your knowledge, using this magic portal that is the Internet to learn about the things that pique your curiosity.
8) To be mindful online means sending loved ones a handwritten card and remembering their birthday without the help from Facebook.
9) To be mindful online means not neglecting your body — stretch at your desk (or wherever you may be) throughout the day. It means looking away from your screen to breathe in deep and just be.
10) To be mindful online is to remember that this pocket in history is fragile, and although it feels like it has been here all along, we must treat it with gratitude.
Just think, we have the entire world at our finger tips.
Feel free to leave your mindful online tip as a comment below.
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Azita Ardakani is the 25 year old founder of Lovesocial: a social media consultancy focused on authentic and effective modes of communication strategy. She is contributor for the Huffington Post and guest host on Al Jazeera’s “The Stream.” Since its inception in 2009 Lovesocial has worked with cause based campaigns such as Summit on the Summit, Oscar nominated documentary Gasland, and Pakistan NOW; a relief effort for the floods alongside the UN. They have also contributed to corporate clients such as Micheal Kors, Oprah Magazine & W Magazine.