There’s little doubt that the internet has transformed out lives. At our fingertips we have virtually instant access to education, information and opportunities that we could only have dreamed of a few years ago.
But, like many things, it needs to be managed so here are a few ideas to help:
- If you can, switch off your screens a good hour before you plan to sleep to promote good sleep habits and minimise sleep disruption
- Use it actively. This gives your interactions a purpose whereas passively scrolling can be unsatisfying which can in turn affect wellbeing
- If you notice that you’re often being shown similar things, it’s because algorithms that companies use are reinforcing what you’ve already looked at, so search new topics to break the pattern
- Remember that we come in all shapes and sizes so don’t compare yourself with the ‘perfect’ bodies that you see – they’re usually airbrushed or filtered anyway
- Check your privacy settings so that people can only see what you want them to see and don’t give out personal details
- When you post something you lose control of it so don’t post anything that compromises you either now or in the future
- Watch out for scams or phishing – be vigilant and if in doubt, just don’t click
- It might sound odd, but cover your webcam when you’re not using it as some viruses enable access without you knowing
- Finally, never give out your password and keep your device secure.
If we remember that the internet is a powerful tool and treat it accordingly, we can reap the benefits sensibly and safely.