Good Digital Parenting
Blog | Dec. 26, 2013

Speak Up, Lend a Hand, Get Active: My (Digital) New Year’s Resolutions

Program Administrator, Family Online Safety Institute

With 2014 right around the corner, it’s time to start thinking about your New Year’s resolutions, right? People are renewing their gym memberships, making plans to eat healthier, to travel more, and so on and so forth. But what about your digital habits? With so much of what we do revolving around constant connectivity, it’s worth considering a resolution or two for your online behavior as well. 

Speak Up 

Personally, one of my greatest challenges in the digital world is keeping up with, and contributing to, conversations online. This includes sharing articles that interest me (assuming of course I’ve taken the time to read them), leaving comments on my favorite blogs, and even starting a blog of my own. But aside from the effort it takes to keep up with the pace at which digital conversations move, I keep running into the challenge of the “who cares what I have to say” question. 

The hard truth is not many people. That’s right, not many people, at least at first, are going to hear what you have to say. That’s just the reality of starting out in a space as noisy as the Internet. But that’s certainly not a good enough reason to stay on the sidelines. If so many other people are blogging, tweeting, and posting comments, why can’t you? It’s a great way to connect with peers and influencers in the industries that interest you, whether for personal or professional reasons. So, this year, make a resolution to finally join an online conversation. 

And while you’re at it, don’t forget to keep it positive. With so many forums, blogs, and social media communities littered with negative comments, setting a positive example by making constructive contributions is a great way to build a good online reputation. Plus, you never know – you might just make someone’s day by leaving them a thoughtful comment. 

Lend a Hand 

Aside from joining a conversation, there are plenty of other ways to get involved online, especially when it comes to helping others. Whether it’s raising money for a cause you care about, starting a petition to inspire change, or organizing an event, take time this New Year to check out the digital resources available to you, and see how you can make an impact. 

Need some inspiration? Check out a recent infographic from A Platform for Good on how Millennials are using technology for good, or visit the PfG resource center for information on volunteer opportunities and more. 

Get Active 

Another popular New Year’s resolution, and certainly one that I’m committing to, is learning a new skill. The Internet is a great place to help make this happen - and a lot of the time, for free. This includes learning online skills such as how to code or design a website, but also offline skills as well. With sites like Skillshare, Coursera, and Khan Academy, and even YouTube, it's easy to find classes and tutorials on what interests you. 

So, what are some of your online resolutions for the New Year? Leave a comment below and tell us. (For those of you hesitant to do so, I’m talking to you!) 

Cover image courtesy of Flickr.