Adding Value: A Minimalist Approach to Being Online

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Lately, I’ve been thinking a lot about whether or not I’m adding value when I’m online.

There is so much I love about social media and the internet in general. 

I get to hear about things I’d never otherwise have known about, like this temple in India that serves free meals to up to 40,000 people a day.

Also, I’d probably never have discovered that blind cavefish hold clues to prehistoric times or that this 100-year-old-man is out-volunteering the rest of us. I mean, wow! Right?

The Not So Great Stuff


Buuuuut…there’s also stuff I don’t enjoy. 

Along with learning about all these really amazing things, comes the need to wade through a quagmire of information I’d really rather not have known about.

You can ‘filter’ and ‘unfollow’ all you want, but spend time online and sooner or later you’re going to bump up against something unsavoury.

I used to share information about how badly factory-farmed animals are treated. As a vegan, I thought this was what I was supposed to be doing. I’ve since come to realise that I can’t change the world through my words (or retweets).

If anything is going to have a positive effect on the people around me it’s the way I live my life.

Recently, an ex-colleague of mine expounded on Twitter about how great she’s been feeling since she stopped eating meat. She said she’d been inspired by me.

For the record, I never forced her to watch Cowspiracy. I swear! 

From now on I’m going to make a point of sharing my thoughts (or the thoughts of others) only when I think it will add value. I may not always get it right, but I figure even setting the intention is a step in the right direction.

It might mean I ending up posting less frequently, but on the other hand, maybe it’ll inspire me to look extra hard for value and in doing so, find it everywhere. You just don’t know.

What I do know is that I want to focus my attention on the things that matter, like drinking coffee, aging well and getting better at life. In other words, all the things that make life better.


5 Adding Value Commandments

adding value minimalist approach to being online

‘Commandments’ is a strong word and sounds a bit prescriptive, but who cares. I’m going with it anyway. Feel free to insert whatever word you’re most comfortable with. ‘Suggestions’ comes to mind, although it seems a little wishy-washy. Or is that just me?

Share Only That Which Is Uplifting

There’s always the risk of being too Pollyanna, but you know what, if the alternative is being a Debbie Downer or worse, a Cassie Complainer, it’s not even a question. I’m going with glass half full. For all the bad stuff that’s happening in the world, there’s plenty of good stuff too. So why not share that instead?

Share Only That Which Will Make People Smile

Again, maybe a bit Pollyanna, but I’d rather share something that will make you smile (even if it’s another cat video), than something that has you recoiling in abject horror. We need to smile more. Kids smile on average 400 times a day, whereas adults barely manage 20. (Granted, they’re happier because they don’t have rent to pay, but still.)

Share Only That Which Will Restore People’s Faith in Humanity

We’re inundated with bad news that’s replayed over and over again. It’s little wonder then, that we believe the world is going to hell in a hand basket. It’s actually not. It’s just that the amazing things happening in the world right now don’t get the same airtime. I want to share more of that stuff.

Share Only That Which Is Helpful, Kind and Constructive

Something might be true, but that doesn’t mean I need to say it or share it or whatever. If I’m not being helpful, kind or constructive, I’ll rather keep my thoughts to myself and instead, go with Thumper on this one: “If you can’t say something nice, don’t say nothing at all.”

Share Only That Which I Believe In

The internet is overflowing with people who want to have their message heard. When the competition is that rife it’s easy to hop on someone else’s bandwagon if I think it might further my own cause. That’s not the worst idea, unless their message isn’t in keeping with my own. Then it’s a really rubbish idea.

If you enjoyed reading this post and would like something written for your own blog, website, newsletter or annual family missive, get in touch. Ang would be happy to help. Check out her Hire Me page for all the deets.

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4 thoughts on “Adding Value: A Minimalist Approach to Being Online

  1. There must be something in the air! Before I turned my computer on I said to myself, I just can’t face reading one more blog that tells me we’re all going to hell in a hand basket! What should be in my inbox, but the latest post from reviewing a book about the ways we can actually reverse climate change (not just slow it down!) Then I click on your post and – more good news!

    My grandmother smiled and laughed a lot more than average and never had a bad word to say about anything or anyone (which is probably one of the reasons she always seemed happy!) She taught me the wisdom of saying nothing unkind, or keeping your mouth closed!

    What a wise conclusion you have come to, and of course I will look forward even more eagerly to what you have to share.


    • Hi Madeleine

      So much of yay! We definitely need to be focusing on the good stuff and ignoring the rest. Your grandmother sounds amazing, how fortunate for you to have had such a positive role model in your life. I’ll do my best share more of the good stuff in the future.

      Ang 🙂

  2. Its been long that I stopped taking part in Sad and controversial news. The idea is that if I cannot do anything about it, why to react and make it more controversial. I only share what sparks Hope. A great read Angela.

    • Hello Upsana, thanks for stopping by! You’re spot on. If we can’t actually make a difference, then there’s no point sharing or talking about it. It just adds to the negativity. 🙂

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