11 New Year’s Resolutions for a Healthier Online Life

11 New Year’s Resolutions for a Healthier Online Life

Don’t ignore your online life when you think of some New Year’s resolutions this year. Now is the time to tweet more positively, get information from trusted sources, stop obsessing over Instagram, and message your friends and family face to face.

These days, the internet rabbit hole can leave you confused about what’s really important. To help you deal with endless content and enjoy the digital world again, here are some effective New Year’s resolutions for a better life online.

1. Build more direct relationships

If you’re posting pictures online just to receive a few likes or one-word compliments, you may feel like no one really cares. Instead of doing it again this year, send your holiday photos and cute cat photos in a private message to the people you know will appreciate them.

Installing a standalone instant messaging app will help you de-tangle your public profile from your private communications. It feels undeniably good, and as a bonus, you’ll have stronger relationships by the end of the year.

2. Say no to titles that make you hate

It’s time to stop giving in to headlines that make you angry. Instead, try this the next time you feel like you’re interacting with a headline:

Make a video today

  1. Stop.
  2. Take a moment to notice that the title tempts you to click more.
  3. same.
  4. Instead of clicking, let it pass you by.

The headlines are designed to make you want to click, share, and comment on all your friends, often before reading each piece or any part of it. They beg for stray reactions.

Once you know this, it will be much easier to avoid falling for their cheap scams.

3. Delete old versions of you

Three people sitting side by side using their phones

Deleting your Facebook profile may sound like cutting an extra tip, but in reality, it’s more like getting a haircut.

How many profiles are there on the internet that you haven’t used for years now? You may want to save your Tumblr page for posterity, but it’s time to deactivate your long-forgotten MySpace account.

Download your Facebook data and get off the platform this year so you can get to work building one (or two) existing online profiles that you care about regularly.

4. Put your apps in a drawer and forget about them

If you need to spend less time on your phone, clear the home screen of all your apps. Store it in a drawer, folder, or Android launcher instead.

This way you won’t notice app badges or remember which social media apps you haven’t checked in five minutes every time you unlock your phone to answer a text message or search for something.

By removing the candy-colored Instagram icon from your instant access, it gives you enough pause until you realize what you’re doing: clicking on an app because you’re bored.

5. Gather your favorite websites in one place

To simplify your blog reading and see fewer distractions while browsing the web, take your favorite websites and put them in one place with an app like Feedly.

You can use this app to view all the latest articles across your favorite websites in one simple list. This trick will eliminate countless hours of passive scrolling time so you can get back to those projects you were meant to work on.

If you need to do a lot of job searching, this can also increase your productivity, organize your most used sources in one app and make keyword research easier.

6. Read articles and news before reposting

With the maturation of the internet and the increasing importance of being a good online citizen, reading content before reposting it is more vital than ever.

If you see a title that you want to republish, open it up and read it first so you know exactly what it’s all about. You will earn the respect of your followers when you start sharing quality content that you have vetted yourself.

You will also learn a lot by taking the time to pay attention to details that you may have missed reading only the first paragraph.

7. Go straight to the news source

Close-up of a digital news headline on a tablet next to a paper newspaper

With mounds of questionable content on the internet, reposting news without knowing its source is a very risky and common business. If you want to get more involved in the important stories this year, start by downloading an app from a reputable news source.

By sharing content directly from your own source, you can grow your online presence more trustworthy. As a bonus, you’ll stand out from the crowd of retweets and thread posts by contributing an original perspective.

8. Draw a digital border

When you’re not at work, you probably still check your work email frequently. And while you’re at home with your family, you’ll likely be interrupted by notifications from social media.

Make time for what you really want to do this year by setting some digital boundaries.

Schedule doesn’t bother you on Slack and other work messaging apps. Next, set email notifications to mute for the evening and use the Do Not Disturb feature on your phone to mute other apps.

This will help you be more present in every moment and take the stress out of work while you are on vacation.

9. Purge your email inbox

Another year and a dozen or more email subscriptions filled your inbox. It’s time to pick out the marketing emails and newsletters you haven’t touched on in months. unsubscribe, unsubscribe, unsubscribe!

While it may take a while to sort through all of your email subscriptions, your brain will feel good afterwards. With a clean mailbox, you’ll have a good starting point for staying clutter-free for the next year.

10. Expand your attention span

A shot over the shoulder of a woman reading Box's voice on her tablet

Fight small content and boldly go where long content lies! That’s easy enough with the Longform reading site.

At Longform, you will find some of the best and most amazing Longform articles from around the internet (short stories, articles, profiles, deep dives). You can use Pocket or another Read Later app to quickly save them on any device so you can read them when you have some time.

Choosing quality over quantity will help you gain new knowledge this year. No matter how many 280-character tweets you read, you won’t get the same insights as reading a well-thought-out article.

11. Be gentle with your body

Your body takes a toll during all those hours of being online. But you can start changing that by installing a break reminder app that will automatically remind you when you should stand, stretch, and look away from the screen.

Take 15 minutes to set up the time-out application once, then forget about it all year long. You will notice that you give your eyes, neck muscles, and joints more breakouts throughout the day.

This small change will help you stay in good physical shape and may even help you become more productive online.

Take care of yourself online

Many people spend as many hours of their lives online as they do in the physical world. And that’s fine, as long as you remember to take care of yourself online, too.

With a wealth of great tools available for a better life online, you can go beyond the endless digital possibilities and focus on what matters most.

Athletic woman in a sports shirt.
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