Do’s and Don’t’s of the internet: For the younger sibling I never had.

The Do’s of the internet-

1. The internet is a huge, vast world of helpful information, distracting entertainment and access to anything, basically ever. Use that wisely, spend your time researching, staying up-to-date with current information.  It’s the sharpest tool in your shed, use it constructively.

2. Speak out of love to everyone. To get love, you have to give love. This applies to everything you do and everyone you encounter in your life. Use your digital citizenship powers for the good and stay out of the negative. Internet arguments are not in the slightest way progressive towards positivity, so have face to face interactions with people when the conversation deserves that respect. People are aren’t always going to be right, but neither are you. Live humbly, speak peacefully and be fair to others.

3. Keep it positive. I mean, keep it positive and professional on EVERYTHING. Like I said earlier, the internet is a HUGE world, accessed by anyone and anytime. What you post online, what you participate in, who you talk to, how you speak about people, the content you share – every bit of it is traceable. Employers, professors, mentors and leaders will look at this one day. Be you, but filter everything wisely, making sure your facts are correct.

4. Grammar and punctuation are unbelievably important and appreciated when used correctly online. Do that. Proofread, proofread, proofread. You’re lucky enough to have an education, use it. (Side Note: it’s actually quite sexy and attractive to converse with someone who has mastered this step. Get on that.)

5. Be smart with who you allow in your personal online circles. Haters are gonna hate. Creeps are gonna creep. Make sure you’re monitoring what information you put out there. By all means, live your life, but be intentional with your actions, knowing where they lead and how to avoid the icky negative side of things.

Here’s a few “Don’ts” for you as well.

1. Don’t ever allow the ease of connection with the internet to take place of real human interaction. People are magical in real life and worth your time. You’ll grow, expand and progress as a human if you have meaningful relationships and conversations with people. Have in-person talks, create memories, have real experiences and DREAM with others. Live in the present. Personal development is hindered in situations when the internet is your main way of participating in relationships. My goodness. This might be the most important.

2. Don’t waste your life on the shallow entertainment portion of the internet. Find and follow people who positively inspire you to dig deeper into life and unfollow those who do not. You have less than a century to do something with yourself. That doesn’t seem like a long time, but it’s a mere blink of an eye in the grand scheme. Keep your priorities straight by not giving your attention to the things that distract you from your goals.

3.  Don’t post a streak of selfies. Every once in a while is fine, but a streak is uncalled for. You have better things to do with your time than dressing up for one picture, but taking 60. Get it together. Humanity needs you elsewhere.

4. Don’t give up the moment you are experiencing to post about it. Be in the moment. LIVE in the moment. Share later.

5. Don’t be afraid to set boundaries within your life with how and when you use the internet. There’s still a physical world out there to be explored and it’s an injustice if you do not take advantage of that. We are lucky to live in this time of history. Balance it well.

Many of the points I made are reflective of the personal lessons I have learned over the years. Educating people on the positives and negatives of the internet sets them up for future successes. Knowing the do’s and don’ts are the first step in teaching digital etiquette.

-Raeanna Anglen