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Safer Internet Day 2019

The internet can be used to share world news events, find funny or cute videos like this, or even create an online movement such as the Women’s March in Washington last year — which started with a Facebook event containing 40 people and ended with over 5 million people participating worldwide. The internet can be a wonderful place. However, the internet can also affect our wellbeing.

Safer Internet Day promotes ways to improve the time you spend on the internet. Sometimes our minds can feel ‘busy’ after absorbing so much content. Sometimes we might feel overwhelmed by the amount of information that is thrown at us on a daily basis. Safer Internet Day teaches us to ‘create, connect and share respect’ because ‘a better internet starts with you’.

Switch off your push notifications

Without those little banners flashing across your screen you can access your social media when you choose. Notifications are personalised advertising. You will probably experience a lot less screen time without them.

Don’t use more than one site at once

Having multiple tabs open can split your attention and cause you to feel overloaded. Although multi-tasking is a useful skill, try to limit the use of it online.

Take breaks

Make sure that you are spending some time away from the internet. A five-minute walk can be enough. Clearing your mind with some fresh air and a change of scene is like taking your brain to the gym — preparing it for all the information you will take in each day.

Be empathetic online

Remembering that your actions online will affect other people is an important consideration. When you comment, post or share online think about how these actions would be taken if you were to vocalise them to a room full of people. The more empathetic you are towards others online the more connected, relaxed and safe you will feel when using the internet. Putting out something positive will give meaning to the information you are taking in.

Lastly, how do you feel?

It may sound cliché, but checking in with how you feel is another important step when online. If you are starting to feel overwhelmed, tense, panicky or angry, take a step back and distract yourself by doing something else. When you are feeling calmer it will be easier to evaluate how to handle whatever riled you. And don’t forget, if the situation feels too big to handle alone, or if you are unsure of how you are feeling, access confidential services at the Student Information Centre in the College.

Digital wellbeing is about how happy and comfortable we feel when we are online. Taking the steps above can be small ways to keep yourself feeling well online. Not only should you check and ensure the security of your personal profiles, you should also make sure that you keep your mind healthy whilst online, too.