The internet isn’t always the nicest place to be. People might write abusive comments or they could post hateful things about a person or a group of people.
Sometimes all this negativity can become too much and it can feel overwhelming, especially when we don’t know what to do about it.
But there are simple steps you can take to help make going online a positive experience for both you and those around you.
How to make the internet a nicer place
While you might not be able to solve all the negativity on the internet, there are ways to share and interact with people in a way that can brighten both their days and yours.
Be aware of what you post
One of the first things you can do is to be mindful of what you post. Are you sharing things that could upset someone? Are you posting something that could make someone feel left out or isolated?
Take a few seconds to read over a post or comment, and see if there’s any language you can change to be more inclusive.
Sharing positive messages
You might come across a quote or story that makes you feel good. It could be some encouraging words from a person you admire, or you could come across a positive news story.
If you find something positive, it’s worth sharing on social media. Other people can see it, feel inspired and maybe go out and do something good for themselves and their community as a result.
Celebrate and congratulate people
It’s always nice to feel appreciated. If you see someone post a picture of themselves, you can always post a nice comment if both you and the other person feel comfortable with it.
If someone has posted positive personal or professional news, you can also comment or send them a message of congratulations. They worked hard to get to where they are, and it’s a good idea to recognise all their efforts.
If you see any hurtful or abusive posts or comments, report them. It only takes a second, and no one will know you reported it. Reporting helps online platforms to know what community behaviour their users do not find acceptable. Different social media platforms have different ways of reporting things, so check out their help or Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) section to find out how to report something. Remember it’s not just you: lots of other people are maybe reporting the same content.
If someone is being bullied online, reporting a comment, post or a bully’s account is one way to help.
Read more about what to do if you see someone being bullied online (link).
Avoid toxic behaviour and discussions
Posts and comments online can sometimes become toxic, both in what you are talking about and how people speak to one another.
It’s a good idea to avoid these behaviours and conversations, as people involved often aren’t open to hearing other points of view or changing their mind about things.
Read more about toxic behaviour.
Reach out to people feeling lonely
Sometimes you might see someone on social media post something about feeling lonely or down. This is a brave thing to do, so if you decide to reach out to that person, it’s a good idea to first thank them for sharing.
Posting a comment or sending someone a message who is feeling lonely can help them feel more connected and a little less alone. You can suggest hanging out or going to a group activity together. The person might or might not be open to it, and that’s okay if they aren’t. The important thing is reaching out and letting them know support is there if they need it.
Know of an interesting job opportunity or volunteering position? It’s worth sharing on your social media channels, so other people can also check them out.
Sharing opportunities is also a good way to hear about them too, so keep an eye out for social media groups that share different openings. You never know what might come your way.
Share tips and tricks
Know a good trick to fixing something around the house? Found a more sustainable way to do an everyday task? Have a great recipe that you know of?
Sharing these tips and tricks online can help make someone’s day a little easier, and you can also learn things from them in return.
Although it might feel like a lot of negativity lives on the internet, taking actions like these can hopefully make the internet that little bit nicer, one step at a time.