The Internet is a mere 25 years old. Think for a minute on how far we've come as a society in such a short period of time. Think about how quickly connecting to the Internet has become as casual to our society as the use of electricity. If you want proof of our deep dependency on Wi-Fi, just go to the closest coffee shop, ask them to unplug the Internet for 10 minutes, and watch the panic unfold.
In many cases, our online lives have become habits. When it comes to social networking, the little things we post online have an effect on how we behave towards one another in the real world. While there are still many trolling the Internet, research finds that online trends are creating kinder, gentler users.
Keeping these trends comes with utilizing TECH that does exactly what it spells...
Taking into consideration that we are creatures of habit, as we teach our children proper behavior in both their digital and real worlds, here are 5 healthy habits that will create a digital generation worthy of praise. What may seem like no brainers, are things we constantly have to remind ourselves of in such a fast-paced world.
Use positive, forward thinking language.
Eliminate the face-to-face aspect of communication and it becomes difficult to read the sentiment or emotion behind what people are actually trying to communicate. We are emotional creatures and respond more sensitively than we might imagine to undertones of online language. Improper judgments in communication can lead to a lot of problems. So, it needs to become a habit to use clear, positive language in our online interactions. With that it needs to become a habit to become positive thinking human beings.
Take information overload to a level of full understanding.
How many emails are you inundated with on a daily basis? How many articles do you sift through when reading the news online? How much of that intake is negative? The information we take in will translate into the way we begin to behave.
We need to make it a habit to control the amount of information we consume by practicing self and social awareness.
Watch Psychologist Sherry Turkle's TED Talk: Connected, but alone? which asks us: "As we ask more from technology, do we expect less from each other?"
Pay attention to Emotional Intelligence.
Our emotional intelligence gives us the ability to empathize and connect. In the broad sense of social understanding, they say having strong emotional intelligence can be more important than a high IQ.
We can understand and empathize with the negative information we are taking in, but we should also make it a habit to put more focus on what is good in our world, who is good in our world, and how that good can be spread.
Take time to reflect on connection.
Not your Internet connection, your human connection.
If we take this to an existential level and ask what we are doing on this planet, many might say that we exist for each other. We exist to build beautiful and deep connections with one another. Those relationships and collaboration of ideas are what help push the growth of humanity.
So, as we are glued to our phones and devices, we need to make it a habit to recognize what they exist for. They exist to connect society to information, ideas and, at the end of the day, each other. We connect with each other by respecting each other - acknowledging faults of people and systems while choosing to extract the good out of those same people and systems. As we move forward into a spinning world of increasing data, doing so will help us keep our heads on straight.
Pay attention to the reflections of your character.
The problem with online interaction can be its lack of accountability.
Because of the nature of human life, the Internet might always have trolls. So with the existing darkness in our online social world, we need to practice habits of higher integrity in our actions. We need to turn attention to the true meaning of virtue as often as it is turned towards our digital devices.
Our behavior online affects our behavior in the real world and vice versa. Making an impact starts with small habits of positive action.
"Watch your thoughts, they become your words. Watch your words they become your actions. Watch your actions, they become your character. Watch your character, it becomes your destiny." -- Frank Outlaw