Think of what you absorb as akin to grocery shopping. Consider what you allow into your person (insert dildo joke here). Don't default to the internet version of a giant jar of cheese balls. That's a decision detrimental to your health! Choose the fresh fruit platter instead. You'll feel better, have no regrets, and it's yummy in its own right.
Here are five things on the internet from which you should digitally recoil, and alternatives to gleefully download into your virtual open arms.
Just Say No: Kanye & Gwyneth
These two seem like a really good pair. One behaves like a douche and the other encourages you to steam your vagina. See the connection? If people with a ton of money want to make fools of themselves, that's their right. But it doesn't mean you have to stand there and watch.
The Healthy Alternative: George & Zooey
I'm convinced that having George Takei and Zooey Deschanel on your Facebook feed results in a happy, healthy, positive mood. As far as I know, he's never crapped all over what was supposed to be someone else's moment in the spotlight, and she won't ever tell you what you should be doing with your vagina.
Just Say No: Dark Shit
Twice I've been sucked in by creepy headlines like "20 of the Most Disturbing Images in History" and then I'm ruined for days. I'm not saying you should put your head in the sand regarding horrific things that happen in the world, but there are better ways to educate yourself and make the world a better place than by gawking at tragedy.
The Healthy Alternative: Upworthy
Their tagline is: Awesome, fun, interesting videos and graphics about stuff that matters.
If you don't agree with Upworthy on what matters (like, you know, women being seen as full human beings) then find a comparable site that gives you positive information on what matters to you.
Just Say No: Haters
Life is too short. Don't engage with these assholes.
Pity them; their lives must suck.
The Healthy Alternative: Cute Animal Videos
If watching a video of turtles helping turtles (or a sloth yawning, a pig playing at the beach, baby goats frolicking - you get the idea) leaves you with a sense of peace and compassion, then your time has not been wasted. Think of how much better the rest of your day will be if you choose this over reading an article's comments section in which angry people spew their ugly all over the place.
Just Say No:
Other People's Politics
Other People's Politics
If you can engage in a rational, respectful debate of politics on the internet, more power to you. Sadly, most positive interactions regarding politics take place when everyone involved in the discussion is already politically like-minded. But opposing views are not often expressed with logic and respect when you're typing behind the shield of your laptop and someone ends up feeling like this:
The Healthy Alternative: Community Events
Give a little shout out to good things happening in your world. Chances are there are good things happening around you, good things about which not all of your friends might be aware. At IndieGogo you can search by category or location. My current personal favorite is an expansion project of our local, independent bookstore.
The Facebook "Experiment"
We've all seen it. Your "friend" writes: I'm going to do a little experiment to find out who my true friends are. If you read this, please take a moment to write two words in the comment section describing when we first met. For the love of all things sacred, I honestly would rather read a status update detailing what you had for breakfast (but please spare me the picture) than to see you cut and paste this chain mail bullshit about finding your real friends. We're either friends or we're not.
Figure it out.
The Healthy Alternative: Meaningful Interaction
You want to connect with your friends? Send them a message, pick up the phone, be totally reckless and get together with them in person! Let them know you value their friendship. If you want, you can even spend your time telling each other what you had for breakfast and reminiscing about when you first met.
Did you bristle at all of the four-letter words in this post?
If so, read The One Thing I "Force" on My Kids (it's clean, I promise).
This is like a Choose-Your-Own-Adventure!
If not, read Swear Thee Well.
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