I have a sticker on the base of my laptop, just below my keyboard, with four simple words: Be kind. Do good. It’s a gentle reminder for me to focus on positive and healthy ways to use technology as I interact with others electronically. It also reminds me that as the mom of four impressionable children who have grown up in the tech age, I need to help them learn how to be kind online and use tech for good in their own lives.
Here are 10 healthy ways to use technology for good.
1. Send a text. Take a few minutes to let someone know how much you appreciate them. Share a kind thought, a word of encouragement, or a quick thank you. Seriously, it’s so easy and it will brighten someone’s day to receive a positive, complementary message for no reason.
2. Email a message. Don’t like typing with your thumbs on the phone? Emails are just as good. Remember in the olden days when you raced to the mailbox to see if there was anything better than a bill waiting for you? It’s the same with an inbox on the computer. Take a minute and write a letter to someone important to you. Fill it with light.
3. Leave positive reviews. Sadly, we often only consider leaving a review for a company if we’ve had a bad experience, but we can change that trend by finding companies we love and talking them up. Had a great experience at a local cookie shop? Go leave a glowing review online. Got into your doctor’s office in record time? Let the world know about it by sharing those details on social media. Good news travels, so let people know when things go well.
4. Share good vibes on social media. There is enough negativity on social media already. Wondering how to be kind online? Instead of feeding the contention, share inspiring, funny, or thoughtful posts with reckless abandon. Keep things light and have some fun. Everyone needs a good laugh or a note of encouragement on a tough day. And even if you don’t like to share things on social media, add positive comments or like uplifting posts from friends to keep the good vibes going.
5. Send ecards for special occasions. Don’t have time to run to the store for a card for your friend’s birthday? No worries. Ecards like these are just a click away. Now you can say you care in a special way through tech. And you don’t even need to find a stamp. You can even create personalized videos from sites like this to add a personal touch.
6. Donate to charities or causes online. In the past, we had to make a concerted effort to give back to the charities or causes of our choice. Now that option is usually only a click away. Using tech for good can’t get any easier! So find a way to contribute and make a difference today.
7. Help someone out. Using tech for good can even be personal. If you know someone in need of financial assistance to get through a trying time, you can organize a fundraiser yourself and collect funds electronically to support their cause. Recently, a woman in our community was diagnosed with an aggressive form of cancer. Within days, neighbors rallied to her aid selling support swag and sponsoring a fun run to help with mounting medical costs. Word spread and funds were collected electronically.
8. Throw a party. Use tech to pull off an epic celebration. You can do everything from shopping for decorations to sending invitations to ordering food, all with the click of a button. Then, on the big day, use tech to play music or set up an outdoor movie theater. Tech can bring a party to life.
9. Learn something new. You don’t even have to leave the comfort of home these days to become an expert in the hobby of your choice. You can become proficient in everything from cooking to carburetors with the help of YouTube and other useful tutorials online. There’s a world of information floating in cyberspace if you’re savvy enough to find it and patient enough to give it a try.
10. Put down the tech and connect. As amazing as technology is, sometimes the best way to be kind and do good is to put it down and connect with the ones you love. Help your kids know, by your example, the proper use for tech in being kind and doing good. Sometimes a face-to-face conversation hits the mark. Sometimes, playing a game or sharing a hug is the best way to do good in a world in need of human connection.
However you and your kids use tech, keep this in mind. There are healthy ways to use technology that are not only beneficial to you but can lift those around you as well. Use tech for good.
And remember, the same rules apply for tech as they do in real life.
Be kind. Do good. If you do, you can’t go wrong.