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If you have ever watched the film The Social Dilemma, you are aware of how time spent on the internet can decrease well-being. Too much internet and social media use can lead to increased stress, greater loneliness and more extreme opinions. But here’s the good news: it doesn’t have to be this way. Like with many things, the internet is what you make of it.
There are many clear upsides to the internet. It’s full of valuable information that is easy to access. It connects people. It entertains. It allows us to buy things without leaving our homes. It can keep businesses running when meeting at the office is an impossibility. It makes our big world snug and small.
So, what useful things can you do on the internet to improve your well-being? How do you eliminate all the negatives and take advantage of the benefits? Though it takes some effort, it’s not very difficult. You just need to gradually move away from the time-killing ways you use it and switch to more productive ways that promote your well-being.
Here are some suggestions on how to do just that:
1. Discover the joy of podcasts
Is there a topic that you've always wanted to learn about but haven't found the time to research it? Or perhaps you know a lot already but want to learn even more? If so, there’s a very good chance there’s a podcast about it. And if there’s not one now, then there probably will be soon. Podcasts are particularly nice if you are moving around outside. Better - and safer - than constantly looking at your social notifications.
2. Take an online course
The internet is great for online learning and courses. It’s clearly much better for your personal growth to develop a new skill via a course than to fight with a stranger via Twitter. There are many companies, such as Udemy, Coursera, and - a shameless self-plug here - Funzi, that provide high-quality courses.
At Funzi, we put our own unique twist on our courses: we make learning fun and easy by breaking down topics into bite-sized chunks and using everyday language. It’s a perfect solution for those constantly on the go or who want to learn mainly through their mobile. Our courses are also much easier on your wallet, and some are even free! Feel free to browse through our course selection.
3. Connect with others via video
Humans are social creatures. We all need contact with other people. Online video meeting platforms are the next best thing to meeting somebody in person. What better way to spend your time online than to have conversations with friends and family?
4. Be an active member of an online community
Think about something you love to do or learn about. Then go online and find - whether through a magazine, a blog or social media - a group of like-minded people. Be an active participant in the online discussions. Most importantly, keep the vibe positive. Be respectful. Offer encouragement and helpful suggestions.
The internet is what you make it. Do you want to pull all the good you can from it? Or do you want to waste a lot of your time doing much of nothing? It truly is your choice! The internet can be a valuable tool for your well-being and personal growth - if you let it.
So, those fun, helpful courses that you just read about? Funzi offers a wide range of them. Here are a few that you might be interested in:
At Funzi, we want you to be as healthy as possible! Check out free courses like this one for tips and advice to keep you, and those around you, healthy and safe.