10 Good Acts You Can Do From Your Keyboard
Be the right type of keyboard warrior. Use your screen obsession for good.
I encourage you to start 2019 by doing one or more of the following suggestions. None of them are likely to change a life but all of them have the potential to improve a day.
1. Review a book or podcast
Authors and podcasters spend years writing their novels and making their podcasts. We consume them in a matter of days or even hours. They put so much energy into their work and rarely know the impact of their output. One way you can communicate your appreciation is to leave a review on Goodreads, Amazon, iTunes wherever. Here’s a little video I made showing you how to review a podcast.
Tell them about that line you loved or that chapter you connected with, let them know that their work meant something to you. When they are having an off day, they can look to your comment as a reminder that their work is worthwhile and find the strength to carry on.
2. Comment on social media
In a similar vein to reviewing a book, comment on someone’s Instagram account. Not just a flower emoji or a short and meaningless “nice” or “love this”. Find a post you connect with and leave a substantial and positive comment to help drown out the negativity that often pervades Instagram. Some social media accounts you might like to leave a nice comment on:
bymariandrew – a writer and illustrator puts life’s little moments into digestible illustrations that give you all the feels
thefoodietakesflight – a student from the Philipines takes time out of her day to deliver you delicious vegan recipes that I can personally vouch for. She’s also lovely.
spoonful_of_sarah – all-round positive human and entrepreneur, Sarah Holloway shares inspirational quotes, blooper reels of the photos she’s posted and all her interesting content relating to her podcast and two businesses, Matcha Maiden and Matcha Mylkbar (delicious)
laura.henshaw – a business woman, model and fitness empress, Laura Henshaw keeps things real and positive on her Instagram. She shares her workouts, recipes, insecurities and behind the scenes on her projects.
goldenretrievers – Cuteness galore. A collection of funny and adorable videos of one of the world’s cutest animals
There are so many charities that you can donate to with the click of a button. Some of my favourites are:
Free cataract surgery, eye care, medical and dental treatment using using the skills of Australian health professional volunteers. Formerly known as Vietnam Vision.
An international not-for-profit, determined to make clean water, decent toilets and good hygiene normal for everyone. Preventing illness almost always starts with access to clean running water
Yes, I first got interested in the Unicef-backed Plumpy’nut because they used a cute baby and the word ‘plumpy’. Further investigation revealed how truly fantastic the therapeutic peanut paste is – it’s high-protein, high-energy, typically comes in foil wrappers or small plastic tubs, made easy to use for children suffering from severe acute malnutrition. $69 is six weeks’ worth of plumpy’nut for a child.
Guide Dogs Victoria
Again, cute marketing visuals swayed me. Here’s an interesting Ted Talk about charities that spend money on advertising. Guide Dogs Victoria provides support to Victorians who are low vision or blind, through support dogs, community initiatives and beyond.
You could donate $2 or $200 and still be making a contribution. If you’re not in that financial position, there is a website where your clicks directly translate to cash. Every time you click on the button, Hunger Site donates the revenue from its advertising banner to selected charities. This includes funds for mammograms, literacy resources and more. Not sure where to start? Go to dosomething.org and input how much time you have and your area of interest. There’s also a phone app called Be My Eyes which pairs low-sighted individuals with sighted volunteers through a video call. Past users have helped check expiry dates, read instructions and navigated new surroundings. Installing the app and signing up took less than twenty seconds – now when someone calls I’ll be notified and able to take the call.
4. Answer a question
I’m sure you’ve Googled information one million times but how often do you share it? You’re full of unique knowledge because of your outlook and personal history. Answer a question on Quora, YahooAnswers or Fluther. Choose a subject area that you’re especially knowledgeable in (beagle weight loss strategies) or have an opinion on (are marching bands annoying?) and get typing.
5. Create something
If you’re too shy to post directly on someone’s page (I mean come on, you can be positive anonymously) then you can create content of your own. Make something beautiful in Photoshop and upload it as a free template. Record a sound around you and upload it to a free sound library online. Take a photo and upload it on Pixabay. Not for profits, like one of the companies I work for, use these sites to improve their content while keeping funds directed towards actual services.
6. Remind a friend they matter
Send a friend a short message to let them know you’ve been thinking about them. I sometimes go months without seeing certain friends. But I’ll often send a text during that period to let them know they’re on my mind. A message that takes a few seconds to type can be a powerful moment in someone’s day. A Harvard Medical School study of 5,000 people over 20 years found that your friend’s happiness is your happiness.
7. Share good news
Amidst the natural disasters and terrorism plots, good is happening. But good news doesn’t always rise to the top. If a video of a puppy made you laugh this morning (watch this puppy and baby from 0:20) or an article about a heroic human touched you, share it on your platforms so it can brighten someone else’s day. Talk about an uplifting movie you saw recently. Make a short list of your favourite social enterprises and share the good work they’re doing.
Thinx – underwear for humans on their period. Previously Thinx helped fund the production of reusable pads for people with periods in Uganda. Now they work with schools and NFP in delivering education programs, they fund services and donate to grassroot organisations. Over $450,000 has been contributed to partners.
Unicef – Buy jewellery made of bombshell. Your purchase supports the delivery of employment, income and social support to more than 50,000 people
8. Recommend someone on LinkedIn
On the business platform, LinkedIn, you can assign skills to an individual. Their future employer will be able to see that they can code or are great at project management. All you have to do is click the button. Learn how to endorse someone’s skills here.
9. Celebrate companies that deliver
When customers are dissatisfied with a company, we hear about it. But when a company does something good, we usually smile and move on. Instead, the next time a package arrives early or a waitress is especially accommodating or an organisation sends you free samples, post about them on Facebook and Twitter. They’ll know their efforts are recognised and other people will learn about their business.
10. Game for good
Play a game online and help the world. There are lots to choose from like Free Rice, where every correct answer raises 10 grains of rice, and Free Kibble, where your answers (right or wrong) donate kibble to animal shelters.
The next time you’re glued to your screen (like, always), do something positive from this list.
And obviously share this post with everyone you know, to encourage them to also make positive change.
What other ways can you do good from your keyboard? Tell me below!
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