small acts of online kindness

Not all screen time is created equal. The more we, and our kids, use screen time for good, the better. Today is “Giving Tuesday” which is a great time to think about the small things we can do online to support the endeavors of our friends, families, and people in communities near and far. Yes, there are wonderful things we can do with financial donations, and that is crucial—but I want to focus on what we can do with our kids that uses the power of tech to do good that does not require money.

One thing we can do is support businesses or social causes through tech with acts such as posting reviews on Yelp, giving stars and sharing recommendations. Having moved back recently to Seattle, I was so happy to see that the little café down the street from me, Fat Ducks, is still going strong. The owner is an incredible baker, and she is always working so hard to make everyone’s cafe experience enjoyable. It felt great to share her cafe with others online by giving her and her cafe a good review on Yelp. I made sure to include specific reasons why I like it so much because I know I like examples when I look at reviews. I did not expect it, but one day when I stopped in for some outstanding carrot cake, the owner thanked me for posting a review. I also love sharing links to friends’ work, such as their online talks, published books and articles. 

I remind myself to involve my kids in these tiny acts. For example, if we go to a local Vietnamese Pho cafe, I will say, “Hey let's do a rating on this.”  When they read books they like, we talk about how writing a review can help the author’s work be appreciated by more readers.

My family tries to spread the word about organizations we love via social media and, of course, in face-to-face conversations.  We are strong advocates for organizations that help youth from all backgrounds have offline opportunities—and on the Screenagers' website, we have a list of some fantastic ones. Check them out!

What organizations do you love?

For this TTT, here are some questions to start a conversation:

  • What are ways you perform small acts of kindness online towards people, businesses, etc. that you appreciate?
  • Do you think liking a photo is a small act of kindness?
  • What are causes and organizations that inspire you?
  • In what ways do you contribute to your community and causes you care about?