Does online connectivity hinder our emotional health?

How to use the internet to your emotional benefit:

• Make use of the wealth of knowledge, services and resources offered on the internet to improve your wellbeing and seek help when it’s needed.

• Avoid spending too much time in “internet world” and too little in the “real world”. Meaningful face-to-face relationships are also important.

• Don’t let your time online distract from other important things in your life e.g. if playing games or shopping online is distracting you from work, family, study or other commitments it may be a sign to reduce your time online.

• Be aware of the dangers on the internet such as, breaches of privacy, cyber-bullying, disturbing content and internet scams. Getting into a difficult situation online can be a big risk to your personal, financial and emotional safety.

• Don’t let internet rule your life 24/7! Constantly checking work emails in the middle of the night on your iphone or being permanently glued to your facebook account, does not allow time to unwind.

• Keep an eye out for vulnerable family and friends (particularly children) to ensure their personal and emotional safety is protected during their online activities.

• Seek help if you are feeling overly anxious or down about your online experiences or relationships.

To access Lifeline’s online information, services and resources including Lifeline’s Online Crisis Chat and information on cyber bulling visit the lifeline website www.lifeline.org.au. This article is reproduced from the February 2012 edition of the Lifeline e-Newsletter. If you enjoyed it please consider subscribing to the newsletter by visiting www.lifeline.org.au.

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