How To Stay Sane On The Internet

 (Me 80% of the time) 

The Internet and I have been in a loving relationship for about half my life. It’s time consuming and at times dysfunctional but I lovez the Internetz. My blog, other people’s blogs, being in contact with amazing people and having both helpful information and hilarious memes only a click away. Brilliant.

But the Internet has a downside. A big, whopping, definite downside. With all the great things, it’s also a place where things can get real ugly real quick. There are a lot of ratchet and sour individuals on the loose trying to make their problems go away by bringing them to you, and from one fucked up individual a lot of shit can find its way to a lot of different computer screens. Not fun.

You can enjoy the Internet and find a way to do enjoy and benefit from the good stuff, and don’t let the bad stuff drive you crazy. This is how I personally do that and how you can do it too.

  • Newsflash to everyone: You can choose what urls you type into your browser. You don’t have to go look at that fashion blogger whose outfits make you vomit. You don’t have to read that terribly written blog. My general rule of thumb is that if I get too worked up over something on-line*, I am not going there. Because I don’t have to. I make a choice to click and read. I can also choose not to. Be selective, for your own sake. Your mood and head will thank you.
  • If you have to work behind your computer a lot, the risk is that at one point you get what I like to call ‘sucked in’. You’re not really in the room anymore, or in the office, you are really on the Internet. Your surroundings just fade away and the computer and what’s on the screen is pretty much the only thing you see. You don’t get up, even though you’re hungry or have to pee. That is not healthy. Snap yourself out of it by putting your feet firmly on the ground, getting up every hour or so to get a drink, do something physical or do anything else to remind you you are in the real world. This will also keep ‘Internet Things’ into perspective.
  • Because I know it can feel like a big deal when someone you don’t know calls you a name on the Internet but it’s really not. Why the hell would you care that some random found it necessary to say something mean to you? Someone from Israel told me I looked like Skrillex on Twitter. I laughed. And then I dropped the bass.
  • The Internet is a big fuckfest of different opinions. I have always had the following philosophy when it comes to opinions: We are all entitled to them, sure. What we need to understand that our opinion is actually NOT the most important thing in the world to another person (SHOCKER). In fact, most people don’t need to hear your opinion in order to survive. I think it shows grace not to be a dick about your opinion. Not everyone is blessed with that.
  • And people only change their minds about something when they decide to do that. I can either bend over backwards and bust a gut trying or let them figure it out on their own. If people want to follow suit, then great. If not, fine too. Lead by example, not by explanation.
  • In that regard, once people have made their mind up about you, your every move will be interpreted to confirm that description. And if people want to hang you out to dry, they will grab you by your ankles and turn you upside down no matter what you do! It won’t matter what you say about it. So save your energy and your time.
  • Make yourself no illusions: If you are on the Internet doing whatever, there are probably people disagreeing and even disliking you this very minute. Try not to spend too much time on that. Adopt a live and let live approach. (Unless people come in your face about it, which may happen from time to time)
  • When something happens on-line it can seem like a really big deal. That’s when it’s time to regain perspective by turning off the computer and go back into the real world. I love Internet and their people, but I love real people more. And real life yoga, writing, walking, running and shopping puts everything back into perspective.
  • On the perspective note, don’t let things get to your head either. I’m very happy that someone calls me pretty on the Internet or that someone dedicates a blog post to my website but it doesn’t release me from Nice Person Duties and Being Humble.
  • The idea that you can’t convey tone through the Internet: Total bullshit. I can tell if you’re here for constructive criticism or hoping to hurt my feelings and get under my skin. I am willing to talk to you in the first scenario. In case you want to make me feel bad to make yourself feel better, good for you. I hope it helped.

You can’t control everyone and everything on the Internet. You can control how YOU are on-line and how you respond to things. What you spend your time on on-line, how you treat shitty websites and weird commenters and how big you let everything get. Now everyone shut up and just enjoy the Internet.

*My top three peeves are 1. bad writing 2. bad people 3. not being able to see what someone’s writing because it is so rigged with their personal issues I feel like a bomb is about to go off. I know Internet is a great place for the emotionally disturbed to work out their issues but I am not buying a front row ticket to that. 

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  1. Wel erg toevallig dit blogbericht. Ik besloot vanmorgen mijn Facebook account te deactiveren omdat ik helemaal gek werd hoe mensen dit medium gebruiken alsof het de echte wereld is (lees: ruzies uitvechten via FB, elkaar zwartmaken en alles daarop serieus nemen). Of mensen die weer achter een antwoord iets zoeken (terwijl ze geen andere reactie dan dat kunnen verwachten en vervolgens aan jou vragen of je boos bent. Zoveel negatieve energie dat ik gewoon dacht: fuck FB en ik ga me energie aan iets positiefs uitbesteden. Fijn om dit dan hier te lezen. Het overtuigt mij weer dat ik goed zat om mijn account te verwijderen. Ik kan wel bitchen om die mensen, maar kan ook gewoon zelf weg bij FB.scheelt ook een hoop afleiding tijdens de studie 😉


    1. Ugh, Facebook is ook echt een negatieve-energy vortex inderdaad. Daar ben je nu lekker vanaf (en inderdaad goed voor je studie!) en kun je je focusen op het positieve!

  2. I think I’m quite lucky I don’t have much of those experiences on the internet *knock on wood*. In real life however…. But I guess on the internet people show their character magnified, and it’s much easier to click them away on the web than in reality.

  3. Brilliant post, read it in what felt like a minute (while actually, I was staring at THE INTERNET for hours and hours.. no just kidding ;-))
    However, I’m not sure about the last dot. Yes, usually, you can differ between those two, but really, it’s hard to not be misunderstood when you’re trying to write down something informative to people with a different opinion. I study medicine, for example, and from time to time I cannot resist the urge to add something to a discussion. Not saying I’m always right, but I do double-check the learned stuff I write down, and it still can be seen as a criticism.

    1. Thanks! I am sure about the last dot for myself.

      Other people might not be able to distinct, though. However, there is responsibility for both parties here I think: The person criticizing should try their best not to come off as offensive/condescending and the person receiving the criticism should try their best to not take it personal, you know? For what it’s worth, you always come across to me as very objective and neutral!

  4. Someone from Israel told me I looked like Skrillex on Twitter. I laughed. And then I dropped the bass.

    Funniest thing i’ve read this month

  5. Ha. Ik moest deze post eerst even ongeopend in mijn browser laten staan, zodat ik kon werken. Sucked in-gevaar. Maar nu gelezen. Geeft mijn post over jou je niet minstens gratis vrijpas uit Nice Persons Duty? Het is mijn goede daad: veren in iemands reet steken. Nee hoor, je hebt gelijk. Ik omring me ook zoveel mogelijk met dingen die IK leuk vind. Zoals jouw website 😉

    Ps. slecht geschreven websites zijn om te huilen.

    1. Haha je zou denken van wel toen je me zo als fantastische menseenheid afschilderde, maar ook ik moet nog netjes op mijn beurt wachten en vriendelijk glimlachen. 😉

  6. Wijs als altijd, je hebt helemaal gelijk. Ik moet mezelf soms ook echt wegrukken van het lezen van Amerikaanse haattopics over beautyguru’s, een duistere hobby voor zwakke momenten. Word ik er ooit blijer van? Of slimmer? Liefdevoller? Positiever? NEE. Dus uit dat scherm, en op naar het echte leven.