Even if you are not a technophile, you are no more able to live your life completely offline than you can live your financial life by using only gold. That time has passed and we are connected by copper and air whether or not we want it to be the case. No one is an offline island. If you have ever used the internet, it bears your fingerprints forever. There will always be a trace. The search engine you used likely has an exact record of what you did and when you did it. Rather than fighting that fact, we would all do ourselves a favor by learning to use it to our advantage.
The first step is to start using the internet intentionally and consciously. We tend to get into trouble when we start using something as powerful and dangerous as the internet without being very particular about what we are doing and sharing, and with whom. Most people have no idea how carefully they are being watched and tracked while spending time on the internet. People are starting to get the message thanks to initiatives like App Tracking Transparency. But most people will never get a clue. Once you learn to be safer on the internet, here are some ways to use it more strategically to your benefit:
You don’t have to use the internet in an ambient but unofficial way to learn things. You can actually use the internet to get a university degree and launch or further your career. You can take a BSN to DNP program online and push your career to the next level. Online learning is not limited to the equivalent of a community college. It can be used for the full banana. You can get anything from 2-year degrees to terminal degrees depending on your field of study.
Online education is not just a viable alternative for those who can’t attend a “real” university for whatever reason. You can attend some of the world’s best “real” universities from the comfort of your couch at home. It doesn’t not have to be your alternative choice. It can be your first choice, and is often the best choice. When it is time to take your life to the next level, don’t think of online education as a fallback position; think of it as the starting point.
Little Life Lessons
How often should men wash their hair? No, seriously. I have no idea. Do you? How on earth is anyone supposed to know the answer to that question? Not everyone grows up in a household that looks and works like the Brady Bunch. Greg Brady looked like the kind of teen who knew exactly how many times he should wash his hair, and likely passed that information along to Peter and Bobby. If you want to know the answer to questions like that, you are probably going to have to use a resource like Google to help you figure it out. While the Brady Bunch was fiction, Google is real.
You would be surprised at the little things people don’t know because they are certainly not going to tell you. Just realize that they don’t know the same kinds of things that you don’t know. But you don’t have to feel ashamed about not knowing. Take a few intentional moments throughout the day to do a search for those little life lessons that didn’t come your way over the course of your particular journey.
Make Someone’s Day a Little Better
It is easy to use the internet to make our day a little better. But it takes some intentionality to do the same for someone we don’t even know. Recognize that your ramblings on social media can have terrible psychological effects on other people. So use at least some of your social time sharing something uplifting. It might just be the thing that makes all the difference to someone on the brink.
The internet is a part of the background music to our lives. Take a little time to bring it to the forefront and push your education forward. Learn those little lessons that you are too ashamed to ask another person. And make someone else’s day a little brighter. Doing any of those things will make you an internet power user.