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Random acts of “cyber-kindness”

“Cyber-kindness” –  the quality of being kind to a person one does not know in real life via social media or other forms of electronic communication.

There is so much written and cautioned about the harms of cyber-bullying. Indeed most businesses have social media policies prohibiting this behaviour. (And if they haven’t got one yet they need to write one now!)

On the other hand, there is so much written about the benefits of kindness overall, and random acts of kindness in particular. As much as kindness helps others, it helps us too. Kindness simply brings more light into the world. This is true in real life whether it is kindness towards family, friends, acquaintances, or strangers.

It is true in cyberspace too.

Recently I have been touched by cyber-kindness from a virtual acquaintance who cared (via twitter) about a difficulty I was having. For no other reason, it would seem, than kindness.

How humbling to have someone show they care – someone who I do not know in real life; someone who lives a few time zones behind me; someone who I would never have come into contact with were it not for shared interests in blogging about mental health.

And this cyber-kindness truly lit up a small space of the world that needed more light.

So how else, can I give back, except by performing more acts of cyber-kindness myself – and encouraging others to do the same. Here’s some random acts of cyber-kindness I can think of:

  • Say thankyou to people who read, share or comment on your work
  • Celebrate and say congratulations to people who share milestones or awards
  • Send people useful links that may be helpful for the topic at hand
  • Send virtual hugs to those who need it – a simple “I’m sorry you are having a hard time” should do the trick
  • Show appreciation to people who host twitter chats – it’s a lot of work
  • Be available to support someone via direct messaging if this is appropriate
  • Thank people when they share something important to you and explain why
  • Comment on people’s blogs and post with encouraging and helpful feedback
  • Refrain from negativity – discuss the issue, not the person – especially in political discussion.

Social media is a space for self-expression like no other and lends itself so beautifully to finding opportunities for kindness. The more people practicing cyber-kindness, the more we stand together, the more light there is surrounding the whole world. So let’s use cyberspace only for good.

Please share your creative ideas for random acts of cyber-kindness, I’ve only touched the tip of the iceberg. All ideas submitted get a virtual gold star!!!

😉

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23 Comments

  1. Wonderful post.
    I shall try some of your ideas, starting with this comment.
    Oh, and the roses are stunning.
    Have a good evening!

    Greg

    • Thanks Greg.
      Roses courtesy of my daughter the budding photographer…no pun intended.
      A “Gold star” for your comment!
      Jocelyn 🙂

  2. Agnès (France)

    This is so true.
    We always focus on negative aspects of web relationships. Your post show how much being kind helps both the giver AND the recipient.
    (PS: I read your post thanks to Greg who shared it on FB ^^ )

    • Dear Agnès,
      Thanks so much for taking the time to read and comment on my post. It’s important we all take to the time to be kinder to each other in all our interactions – in real life and in cyberspace.
      A great big “gold star” to you!
      Thanks once again
      Jocelyn
      PS Thanks also to gregsmithmd for sharing my post on FB 😉

  3. Having received some precious cyber kindness myself, I fully endorse your wonderful post. We should never underestimate the power of even the simplest kind gesture or word for truly they have the power to heal and transform.

    • Thankyou Marie for taking the time to read and comment on my post.
      Yes, I agree we should never underestimate the simple things. Words that come from the heart don’t need to be complex. Words as simple as “take care” or “hang in there” can make the world of difference. And, yes, I agree they can heal and transform even when delivered via cyberspace.
      A lovely glittering “gold star” to you for your thoughts
      Kind regards
      Jocelyn

  4. Cheryl

    Beautiful sentiment, thank you 🙂

    • Dear Cheryl,
      Thankyou so much for taking the time to read and comment on my post.
      One lovely and kind “gold star” for you
      Jocelyn 🙂

  5. So encouraging to come across this shortly after my most recent blog entitled, “Social Media – Bridging Cyberspace” http://bit.ly/1b0XPkk I continue to be amazed by the kindness encountered in cyberspace and totally agree with you that we should encourage such kindness on all occasions. Thank you for sharing this message. I am happy to have met you Jocelyn! Linda 🙂

    • Dear Linda,
      Thankyou so much for taking the time to read and comment on my post. And I thankyou for sharing your post. I love the concept of bridges, it is very similar to what I am trying to convey. When I look at my blog stats, I am totally amazed that people from 11 different countries have visited my blog just today, and in some way I have managed to connect with and have a conversation with so many different people. Yes we need to increase kindness in every interaction, and we’ll end up with a better world for it.
      A lovely bridge made of “gold stars” for you.
      Thanks again
      Jocelyn

  6. Hi Jocelyn,
    Thanks for the post. I’ve been amazed by the wonderfully supportive mentoring that I’ve received on social media via twitter and blog comments from people I have never met in real life. I’m sure they don’t realise what a significant impact they’ve had.
    Penny

    • Thanks Penny for taking the time to read and comment on my post.
      I agree, there is enormous good that can be done through cyber-kindness…
      A caring “gold star” to you
      Kind regards
      Jocelyn

  7. An idea for Random Acts of Cyber-Kindness, especially for those who write blogs, is one that I do, but hadn’t considered it as anything more than being appreciative, is to promote someone else’s blog without them asking or knowing beforehand. For example, my post today is about Random Acts of Kindness, which was inspired by a blog I follow, and so I incorporated in my post a review of the young lady’s blog, and urged others to visit her, as well as perform their own R.A.o.K. Most people really seem to appreciate the gesture, not that it gains them many followers or visits, since mine is a small blog, lol.

    • Thank you for sharing your idea. It is a good one. Will need to build this into my kindness repertoire. Two gold stars for that one.
      Thanks again
      Jocelyn

      • 🙂 Thanks! Something else I do, cyber-ly, just to be nice, is to make use of the ‘Related Articles’ option that WordPress has when you’re writing your post… it doesn’t help much coming from me, again small audience, but hopefully as I grow, the impact it will have for other bloggers will grow as well.

      • You sound like a very cyber kind person. The world needs more like you. Keep setting that great example. 🙂

      • Thank you very much… I try to do unto others, yanno 🙂 Have a great day!

  8. I love this! It is such a great concept and true that we should be kind no matter what the circumstance is 🙂

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