There’s no doubt about it–the Internet has changed how we live and work. Everything we do online is there FOREVER, so why not do good things? It’s amazing how spreading a little joy around will come back to you tenfold.
Try one of these five easy tips (some easier than others) and let me know how it goes!
1) Make time for your real Friends. It’s easy to get distracted. There are so many blogs, so many Pinterest boards. And let’s face it–just because you’re friends with someone doesn’t mean you’re interested in their blog on crocheting sweaters for hamsters. But you know what? Read it anyway. Post a comment once in a while to let them know you’re there. Because they’re your genuine, will-be-there-for-you-in-a-crisis friends, and they deserve it. Swap a popular blog that has a gazillion readers for a friend’s blog that has ten. Be the only one who comments. Make their day. And if you get a comment on your own blog, respond to it. It takes less than two minutes, and lets people know you appreciate their feedback. It validates what they wrote.
2) Use your accounts to help, not to sell. Want to sell your books? Write a great post on how you got published. If you work for a museum, write posts about how you can tell if that stuff in your attic is valuable or junk. Tweet insights and inspiration that has helped you along the way. It doesn’t have to be deep–if pictures of baby animals make you smile, share one. Being positive and helpful will get you much further than hitting people over the head with the hard sell. Build relationships online, and the rest will come naturally.
3) Be the better person. If you’ve achieved any kind of online audience, you will attract trolls. Trolls are those nasty little people who use the anonymity of the Internet as a shield so they can attack others. Do not engage. Entering into battle with them just makes you look bad. When I read some of my past responses to trolls on this blog, I want to cringe. I sound like just as much of an asshole as they are. As difficult as it is, when someone flames you, turn the other cheek. The Boy always says, “Don’t let their bad day become yours.” Good advice.
4) Be humble. Let’s say you’ve made it big in the Internet world. You have Twitter followers in the six figures. Or your blog has over a million followers. Some of it was skill. Some of it was being in the right place at the right time. And, let’s face it–some of it was dumb luck. When you hit a milestone, you may want to shout it from the rooftops. Don’t. Save it for your close friends and family. Why? I guarantee you have plenty of followers who aren’t as successful as you. Who are worried and wondering and questioning what they’re doing wrong. Why rub their noses in it? There’s nothing wrong with celebrating success, but it never hurts to be humble. However, if it’s a really big moment for you in real life–you’ve bought your first home, published a book, ran your first marathon, climbed Mount Everest–go ahead and shout. That kind of success inspires people. And if it still makes someone jealous? Well, that’s not your problem.
5) Sign those damn online petitions. It can’t hurt, and if it can help, wasn’t that a good use of 30 seconds? I think so. Save the elephants, save the dolphins, save the sharks.
Now, I’m not saying I follow these tips all the time. I definitely owe one friend in particular a LOT of blog comments and shares.
We can only do our best. We’re still human, after all.
Wishing you lots of good karma!