The Internet, especially social media sites like FaceBook, Twitter, Shazaam, Instagram and Tumblr is the most thrilling, fantastic place in the world. And because it’s so make belief, where you can create a profile and be who and whatever you want to be, it’s super easy to get lost in it.
That’s why you have to pay close attention to your cursor and where you point it at times and on what you double click-on, because it can land you to one distraction after another. Thus causing you not to get any work done at home, school or in your office, especially when you have a deadline, kind of like the one I am working under right now.
From pictures of the great United States of America where so many Liberians yearn to visit, down to how to prepare homemade dishes, to cute hairstyle, boys and girls on Facebook, to an interesting article about the recent Varney Sherman scandal in the www.liberianobserver.com online website, internet is totally freaking awesome!
What is more addicting than hearing that ‘ding- ding’ sound as a reminder that ‘you’ve got a message or notification from FaceBook,’ or checking if anyone retweeted or shared your latest tweet and post. Let me be the first to come out of the closet and admit that more than once I’ve “woken up” feeling depressed that all those likes on a recent picture I posted the day before, was just a dream.
However, knowing that being in Africa and so far away from my family, who lives in America, doesn’t seem that bad after all when the world is at my fingertips. I should remember that I need to be mindful though on the Internet whenever possible. For instance, I can remember a screen shot that someone took of my page two years ago that made tons of people un-friend me and left my employer eager to hold a ‘serious’ meeting with me – a friend on my page that I had never met before felt that she had the right to post cruel comments about my sexuality and make it into a sick joke. It almost cost me my respect.
By using mindfulness on the Internet, you can become much more productive and spend your time much more wisely. You can also stay away from mistakenly branding yourself in a manner that could affect the way people see you, especially if you are a professional.
Since I know from my experience as a radio broadcaster that Liberians love the lists of how to do this and that, here is a list of how to surf the Internet using your mouse wisely:
1. An easy app to help you out. BreakTime, an app I ran across last week lets the user know when to take an easy, slow down on how much you are using your PC at a time. I am ashamed to let you know how often my alerts pop up. This app works on my Dell Precision and can work on any PC. Slowing down when you’re using the internet might sound crazy, especially knowing that Liberians in general use it at times to get their daily earnings, but browsing too much means you will spend more time on stupid websites, wasting your precious megabytes.
2. Use your computer small-small. By only checking FaceBook when you have more than 30 notifications, or catching up on dating sites when you have more than 25 people interested in you, you allow the sites you browse to know how to engage you. It will know what you want! (entertaining you, informing you, connecting you with other folks).
3. Make sure there is something not on your wall you shouldn’t share. I have loads of stupid pictures of me, me feeding people who didn’t ask to be shown being fed and of my field activities floating around the Internet. And for every stupid picture or video that’s floating around that I posted, people will see the craziness that led me into posting it in the first place…
Just be safe and make sure to follow mindfulness on the Internet. It’s not all cake and cookies in the cyber world, trust me. Don’t lose your awareness and get sucked into a black hole, which feels like a naked picture of you being leaked.