As you are aware, my normal lists general involve some kind of ranking system based on my arbitrary standards. This has been a bit of a weird week so far (and it’s only Tuesday). Yesterday’s blog post sparked an epic comment string on my Facebook page that resulted in my having to block a former friend. That got me to thinking that there are so many things one could do instead of be a jerk on the internet. So, today’s unnumbered list is just a bunch of suggestions that came to mind this morning. Feel free to add your own in the comments.
A wise woman once said this of a murder, “Exercise gives you endorphins. Endorphins make you happy. Happy people just don’t shoot their husbands, they just don’t.” While the subject was murder, Elle Woods’ (Reese Witherspoon) words of wisdom from Legally Blonde hold true for a number of situations. If you feel like you’re getting angry and you just want to start prodding people on the internet, step away from the computer. Go to the gym or figure out some exercises you can do in the comfort of your own home. Work through the frustration and work your way to a healthier life. Besides, endorphins make you happy. Being happy will make you less likely to lash out, right?
Guys, it’s officially my favorite time of year in the Northern Hemisphere: Autumn. Or Fall if that’s what you want to call it. I won’t judge. Why don’t you just go outside and bask in the brisk air outside? Breathe deeply and take in all of the pumpkin spice-scented air you can manage. There’s a lot to be said about the benefits of going outdoors. Fresh air and sunshine can work wonders. Rain can also feel really refreshing. Take a breather out of doors. It might help.
Go to the Movies
When all else fails (and I’ve got the time and money for it), going to the movies gives me a couple of hours when I’m not thinking about the world around me. I enjoy the escapism of throwing myself into someone else’s world for a little while. Seeing other peoples’ stories on screen could also help with teaching empathy and seeing other perspectives. Well, that’s the theory anyway.
I don’t know about you guys, but I love getting boxes of stuff to open. Even if I know what it is, the act of opening the package always makes me a little giddy. If you feel like you’re going to start to post mean stuff on the internet, why don’t you do some online shopping instead? Or you could go to the outside and go somewhere else to buy stuff. Think of it as rewarding yourself for keeping your negativity to yourself. Go and get yourself something nice, within budget constraints, of course.
Conquer Small Countries
Now, you could do this virtually by playing one of the Civilization games or you can literally try to conquer a small country. There are a few out there. I mean, just go and try your luck. Throw your lot in with a coup and see if you can manage to succeed. It may end up being a more satisfying experience than being petty and nasty online.*
Volunteer Your Time
There are a ton of non-profits and other organizations out there that could use a hand or two. Why don’t you find a cause and give back to the community? A part of you must want to enact some sort of change in the world, why don’t you start by volunteering and finding where best to use your skills for good? Helping people is far better than hurting them.
In everyone is the ability to make some form of art. Some people are gifted with words, others find it easier to craft images. Some people make music or dance, others make hats. There’s some kind of art out there for you. You can bring some beauty into this world. Go find your kind of art and make some. Don’t worry about quality as long as you’ve made something that’s yours. Me? I write and occasionally take pictures of things that make me happy. Like trees.
Pick Up A New Hobby
Have you considered coin collecting? Or stamp collecting? Maybe you’re not a collector. Maybe you’re a hiker or a scientist. Maybe you’ve always wanted to learn how to make the perfect crème brûlée. Maybe you’ve always wanted to learn how to perform the Argentine Tango. Trolling on the internet is not a worthwhile hobby. Pick up a flyer to see what kind of lessons you may be able to take at your local community center or something. Try basket weaving. Try something else. Please.
Plan for Improbable Things
I’m going to say that I’m fairly certain that most folks these days plan for things like the Zombie Apocalypse or the complete collapse of world order as we know it. You might not spend a lot of time thinking about it, but pondering the possibilities is totally there. You know I like planning for things in general. So, I find it oddly therapeutic to go through all kinds of scenarios in my head. You should give that a try. If anything, it might help put some things into perspective for you.
Catch Up On Books/Movies/TV You’ve Missed
If you’re anything like me, there are so many books, movies, and TV shows you’ve yet to see. While I’ve seen and read a lot, there’s always room for more media consumption. Thanks to Netflix, Hulu, and Amazon, I can see most of the movies and shows I have yet to see. For books, go to a local library and see what’s out there. Pick up your reading device to see what free books you can get. Try to catch up on the never-ending lust of things to read or watch. That should keep you occupied for a while.
Meditate or Stare Blankly Into Space Until Your Jerk Urge Has Faded
Not that urge. Though, to be fair, perhaps a different kind of jerking may be a suitable substitute for being mean on the internet. I’m trying to keep this blog at least at PG-13 so let’s try to get our minds out of the gutter. I know that’s going to be hard for some people. I mean difficult. Oh crap. Anyway! Meditation or staring blankly into space can be great for trying to clear your mind and start into some layers of introspection. Get down to the bottom of your need to antagonize or just let your mind have some quiet time.
At the end of the day, folks, just step away from the computer and do something else instead of being a jerk on the Internet. Don’t fan the angry fires into a blaze of heated words and discourse destruction. Do something constructive instead.
* I am not going to be held responsible for anything that may or may not occur during your attempts to stage a coup. Just Tegan cannot be held liable for the actions of individuals after reading this list.