Beat inflation and the repo rate: 5 things you can do to contribute towards the internet

By Lindelani Mnisi

Whether you’re looking for a recipe, maths tutorials, or the local weather, the internet is there to provide us with the data we need. Many of us can profess to how seamless the internet has made our day-to-day lives, but as smart as it is, the internet is not entirely foolproof and can fall susceptible to a few functional flaws.

This is where we come in as the users of the web. A lot of the internet depends on user reviews and content. So there’s a lot that we can do to make the internet a better place for us all to use, a few suggestions, include but are not limited to:

  1. Write reviews

The internet is not only a large information highway, but also an instant marketplace, where a lot of services or products can be purchased from. Unfortunately, fears of online scams, and faulty products, have contributed to a general air of hesitation toward e-commerce for many.

One thing assisting e-commerce in this regard though is the reviews left by other customers. When a product, or service, has enough reviews you can read what the general consensus is of the product or service, and make an informed decision.

So next time you eat out somewhere or buy anything online, take a moment of your time to leave a review of the product or service. Your honest opinion could mean a lot to someone trying to get the best value for their money.

  1. Report issues

Similar to leaving reviews, reporting issues requires that you actively take your complaint to authorities. Now no one likes a spoil-sport but not everyone is online with the best of intentions.

Some people are out to scam us, and some are out to harass us, much like in the real world. Except on the internet, it’s much easier for people to construct fake personas or spread defamatory information about you. In every corner of the world there are antagonistic agents, but a helpful feature found on any social platform, is the report button.

You can report an account to have it suspended, or a post to have it removed. The internet is a shared community space, so you not only have the right to use it as you please, but must do so responsibly in such a way that respects other users on the internet.

Hooliganism, is hooliganism, whether offline or online. Due to the large size of the internet, however, it can fall upon the community to snuff out these problematic accounts, as some can go under the radar for years preying on countless victims. Such an example is the TinderSwindler who swindled several women of their money.

  1. Share your expertise

Are you an expert at something? Do you have a skill you could teach someone else? Or do you just want a platform where you can share things? Well, the internet is all about sharing.

It’s an information highway, yes, but all of this information comes from other regular users who share tutorials and their expertise. So if you’ve got something to say, there’s probably never been a better time in history to be vocal.

Start a blog, vlog, or podcast. Chances are, there are people out there who might be interested in what you have to share. It doesn’t need to be anything professional either as even just sharing your personal experiences, or opinions can be entertaining and enlightening to others.

  1. Take your services online

In this day and age having an online presence as a business is almost inevitable, and vital. You don’t have to have a complex website or post something every day if you’re more old school and aren’t interested in the digital space.

Something as small as a Facebook page, or a pin on Google Maps, can make you visible to a large audience. The internet also expands your business’s reach to international markets, allowing you to not only source products, and services, from across the globe, but to sell them across the globe too.

Even if you don’t run a business normalize offering your services online. We don’t have to strictly do business with businesses, and freelancers can be a cheaper option at times too.

  1. Collaborate

The lockdowns were very strange and uncertain times for us, but if there’s anything we learned in that period it’s that even in isolation we can continue to work together.

Our online activities don’t have to be a separate matter from our real lives, as we can use the digital space to meet people we share a common interest with and then collaborate offline or online with them. There are plenty of conferences, forums, and hackathons happening online for you to network with people.

You could also do the opposite; take people you already interact with in the real world and start digital groups or communities with them. Whether it’s a church group or members of your neighbourhood. Group chats don’t have to replace face-to-face interactions, but can rather enhance them, and help coordinate large groups of people.

Conclusion

The internet serves as a very useful information highway, and marketplace, but that wouldn’t be possible without the users who make it work. It’s users who post honestly, and traders who conduct their business transparently, that make the Internet work.

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About the author:

Lindelani Mnisi is a member of ACTIVATE! Change Drivers writers hub, he is an animator, writer, and philosopher from Mpumalanga, is a lover of many things art, history and science.

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