Me, thinking to myself last week…“I’d really like to give myself and others some digital gifts this year, and I bet the Ask Trish community would too…”
Hi there, and welcome back to another week of Ask Trish! Happy December to you all (can you believe we’re officially in the last month of the year?!)! I hope you’re having a wonderful start to the holiday season.
For those folks who are familiar with Ask Trish, you’ll know that I spend a lot of time telling y’all how I think you can be better digital citizens: how you can act more responsibly, safely, and with more kindness and empathy online. I also spend a lot of time emphasizing that those actions do not need to be big – they can be small moments, small gestures, that ultimately make a big difference.
In that vein, as we’ve kicked off December, I’ve been spending a lot of time thinking about little actions that I can take to be kinder to myself and to others in the digital world, to build a better digital person, for myself – and again, for others – online. I’ve been calling these actions “digital gifts” – little gestures that we can give to ourselves and to our fellow digital citizens (this month, and hopefully, every month!).
This month, I want to call on you all to brainstorm potential “digital gifts” you can give yourself and others. Personally speaking, when performing this exercise, I found it helpful to divide up my brainstorming into three big categories: 1) building a healthier relationship with my devices, 2) bringing joy and authenticity to others online, and 3) finding and engaging in communities that “fill me up” and mean a lot to me. You might start with these three categories…and then possibly add to them. For instance, maybe you also want to think about how you can 4) more responsibly share information online (something that’s always relevant, and truly a big “gift” to our digital world).
Of course, nothing’s more helpful than an example…so this week, I’ve included my list of “digital gifts” below. Again, these are gifts to myself and to others to realize what I hope will be a better digital experience for everyone.
TRISHA’S DIGITAL GIFT LIST
Building a healthier relationship with my devices
- Spending at least two days in December (maybe Christmas Day and the day after?) completely device-free, focused instead on sharing time with the people I love
- Creating (and sticking to!) time limits for apps that I find myself spending just a ~little~ too much time on
- Deleting apps and/or accounts that don’t feel productive, healthy, or relevant to my life
Bringing joy and authenticity to others online
- Adding authentic, supportive comments to friends’ social media posts #yougogirl
- Sharing (where I feel comfortable) more vulnerable moments online, to remind people that social media is just a small fraction of our real lives
- Reaching out to a few friends that I haven’t spoken with in a while and connecting with them virtually
- (Where I feel comfortable), sharing authentic content that truly reflects “me” online
Finding and engaging in communities that “fill me up” and mean a lot to me
- Seeking out mental health-focused communities on social media and engaging with them in ways that feel authentic to me
- Creating content for/participating in digital events with communities that I like, e.g., those focused on realizing more responsible technology
While this week’s post was brief, I hope you found my list a source of inspiration as you consider what “gifts” you might give to your digital persona – and others’ digital personas – this holiday season. Thanks in advance for spreading love, modeling kindness, and helping build a better internet.
You know what’s coming next…my shameless end-of-post plug: if you’ve got thoughts, questions, or concerns about the Internet, please share them here. Not only will you get what I hope is some spot-on, helpful advice, you’ll be helping our broader community, including folks wondering the same things you are (and I promise you, there are lots and lots of fellow Ask Trish community members with the same questions, doubts, and concerns!). With your contributions, we can continue to grow this incredible resource, and help youth around the world. (Pretty awesome, huh?) Thanks in advance for supporting the #AskTrish community.
Have a great week, everyone,