Have you been unhappy with your online life lately? Are your friends and family arguing with one another on your social media accounts, or do you feel like you’ve simply been wasting too much time scrolling unproductively past things that don’t particularly interest you? Some people might suggest taking the drastic step of cutting yourself off from the internet entirely, but there’s a much better solution. You can improve how you use your time online and make it enhance your offline life.
Whether you want to do some DIY work on an old house you’ve just purchased, learn Japanese, teach yourself how to cook, or even get a college degree, you can do it online. Your options range from classes with lectures and daunting reading assignments to videos uploaded by enthusiasts or fun apps that have gamified the learning process. Furthermore, while you’ll still have to pay if you want a certificate or a degree, many of the learning options are free. The next time you notice that you’ve been wasting time in an unproductive argument online or scrolling without satisfaction, click on over to some videos, your device’s app store, or a MOOC—a massive open online course—and get started on learning a new skill to better yourself.
Manage Your Finances
You can spend a lot of money online if you aren’t careful, but you can also get a lot better at managing it. From apps that let anyone with a few spare dollars start investing in the stock market immediately to help with budgeting to blogs on financial security and more, there are many ways to make money on the internet. You can even look for ways to manage your debt better, such as consolidating your student loans into a single payment. This can free up money in your budget and also means that you don’t have to juggle multiple due dates and loans.
If you’ve been spending a lot of time in some contentious places on the internet, it can be easy to forget that it remains a great tool for connecting with people instead of just virtually shouting at them. Try a well-moderated forum or social media page to meet like-minded people who are as much into hiking, craft beers, or hockey as you are. Deep friendships and even marriages can result from connections that start online.
If you’re just getting started as a writer, musician, or artist, the internet is a great place to put your work out there and get feedback and even fans. However, before you do so, think about what you are looking for. If you are seeking a supportive community, you’ll be after something very different from someone who is trying to sell their art online or who genuinely wants an unfettered critique of their work. It’s always a good idea to get a sense of the culture of any place on the internet before you start participating, but doing so can be especially important if you feel like you are making yourself vulnerable in some way.