Here are some facts according to Pew research. The percentage of adults who report that they go online “almost constantly” was 21% in 2015. How about today? That amount has risen to 31%. Not to mention that is only the ones who realize and report that. Overall, adults who report they go online at least on a daily basis? That is 85%. For someone who runs a website that provides individuals tools and strategies to improve their lives, this is a good thing. Unfortunately, not all of those 85% are not spending their time online exploring ways in which they can expand their knowledge and improve themselves.
Even more depressing is the lack of compassion and human courtesy that proliferates in the online world. It would often appear that people are willing to say hurtful things to others behind a keyboard that they would never say face to face. This is just a fact of the world as it exists presently. It is my firm belief the best way to counter that is to supply inspiring and motivating material to people whenever and wherever you can. Recently, I saw a person posting that they finally got the job they had been trying to get for a long time. My first reaction was to feel happy for this person. When I looked in the comments, I saw people saying things like “Nobody cares” and “You couldn’t get anything better?” I was baffled. Why would someone even spend time to post things like this? Somebody did care. I believe not only the person who posted it, but their family and friends were probably very happy for them. They should have been. Why couldn’t get something better? Maybe they were starting out on the ground floor. Maybe they were just looking for something to support their family? Gratefully, there were many positive and uplifting comments as well. What do you think would stick in the mind of this young man? What do you think the people posting those negative comments online got for their actions?
My suggestion to all of us, is to dedicate a period of time to look for ways and opportunities to inspire and uplift people online. Look for places to leave positivity. Is there a place to cheer someone up? To congratulate them on a job well done? You could even just post a few inspiring pictures or quotes to bring joy to anyone who may come across them. It will not only make you feel good, but will go a long way into making the online world a better place.
Now back to some of the things we mentioned earlier. While 85% of people spend some of their lives online, and are so affected by it. They are still living most of their lives, we hope, in the real world. Even the 31% of folks who say they go online constantly should at least spend a portion of their time IRL (which is social media for ‘in real life’) Here is something I want to stress to all of you. It is even more important to be a decent person in the real world. Not even just decent, but kind, compassionate and inspiring. There are several reasons why we should do this. May favorite is simple and comes from the ‘Dean of personal development’ himself, Earl Nightingale. Earl said we should treat everyone we come in contact with as if they were the most important person on earth because that is how humans should treat each other. I can’t argue with the man. He also points out that to that person, they are the most important person in their life. This can be said for all of us.
I have another reason to consider. If more and more of us are spending a good portion of our lives online, we can run the risk of encountering those who are less than inspiring, to put it eloquently. If you haven’t run across a person like this online yet, rest assured you will. Some of them may even have you questioning your faith in humanity. That is why it is so important for us to be good stewards of humanity both online, and more importantly in the real world. This cannot be stressed enough. We never know what the person next to us may be going through. Starting today, I implore all of you to look for ways to inspire and uplift as many people as you can both online and, of course, in the real world. I would love to hear any ideas you may have for ways in which we can do this.