I just read a fascinating post suggesting that we need to make purposeful choices about how we live our increasingly online lives, “choices that will determine both the quality of your life online and of your relationships offline.” The author, Alexandra Samuel outlines 6 decisions we often make without ever consciously making them. But one in particular stuck out to me as an interesting idea.
Essentially, given all the time we waste online, Alexandra suggests that we do something to give back or be helpful to others with some of our online time.
What problems am I choosing to fix with the help of the Internet? The village that needs a new water pump. The prospect of climate change. The aunt who needs a new beau. The creative vacuum left by the implosion of your garage band. Whether it’s a problem for you, your community or the world, the Internet can help you fix it. Tithing 10% of your time online — from micro-volunteering to online activism to writing a heartfelt note to a lonely friend — is a structured way to ensure that the Internet becomes part of the solution instead of part of the problem. This can be the year in which you get serious about the Internet as the single most promising problem-solver in a world that faces many fast-growing problems.
Sounds like a great plan. What can you do with a portion of your online life to make the real world a better place? Ideas and suggestions welcome.