self improvement resources

5 Ways to Use the Internet for Self-Improvement

For most, the Internet has become a ubiquitous part of daily life. Many people work online all day and then spend evenings streaming movies. With the convenience of online banking, fewer customers step inside their local banks, while millions of shoppers make purchases without leaving home. And the Internet has replaced the phone as a quick way to stay in touch with family and friends.

Of course, the Internet can do so much more than just bringing your favorite show to your big-screen TV. It’s more than just a place to pay your electric bill and buy books. This incredible place called the World Wide Web is also a powerful tool for self-improvement. Here are five ways to make the Internet work for your self-improvement and growth:

1: Searching for Information

Enter any topic of interest into your favorite search engine and, voila, you have an enormous amount of information at your fingertips. What a great way to further your knowledge on an endless variety of subjects. But how do you know whether the information you’re reading is credible – or complete nonsense?

  • Check your sources. Find out who is publishing the information. Government agencies, universities or well-known publishing houses are generally trustworthy.
  • Check the publisher’s motivation. Keep in mind that many articles are simply advertisements for businesses that want to sell you something. And some sites are intended to push just one point of view.
  • Look for proper grammar. And also put a premium on sources that provide balanced information and details (not sweeping generalizations).

2: Online Education and Training

If you’ve always wanted to further your education or upgrade your skills but haven’t had the time, online courses may be the answer. Unlike with traditional brick-and-mortar schools, Internet-based learning eliminates the need for traveling, parking and attending classes at specified times.

You may have concerns about the quality of online education. In fact, it has come a long way, and many who previously dismissed online learning have come to embrace it. Top-rated schools such as Stanford and Villanova University offer online professional certification and academic degree programs to students all over the world.

Ask yourself what your educational goals are: Do you want to pursue a degree or certificate, or just expand your knowledge? Do you want to advance in your career or become an expert on a particular subject? No matter your objective, there is probably an online education program to help you achieve it.

3: Join an Influential Community

Every industry and discipline has its influencers – thought leaders to whom others look for inspiration and direction. The Internet makes it easy to connect with these leaders and even form relationships with them. But how do you find them and make a connection?

  • Social networks. Find and follow leaders on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and Pinterest. Pay attention to their interactions with others and join the conversations. Ask questions, pay a compliment or offer your opinion.
  • Go deeper. From social networks and Internet searches, you can usually find the blogs and publications to which your favorite influencers contribute.
  • Find groups and communities. Search each social network using the keywords of the community you seek. For example, on LinkedIn, you can find groups for industries, companies, colleges and special interests. Twitter chats occur regularly on a variety of topics. No matter what you do (or want to do), you can likely find a community of welcoming peers.

4: Organize Your Thoughts

When you’re venturing onto the path of self-improvement, a journal or notebook can help you keep track of what you’ve learned and your thoughts about it. The Internet offers dozens of tools and applications to help you organize your notes and keep them in one place. For example, it’s fairly easy to start your own blog, which is a great way to keep track of your thoughts, as well as share them with others. If you’re not ready for prime-time, keep things private with a bookmarking or note-keeping application. Many are free.

5: Sharing and Supporting

Sharing nuggets of information with others who are in need is one of the best ways to use the Internet for growth. Because there is so much out there, the best stuff is often overlooked by those who could really use it. Whether it’s through a tweet, a Facebook update or a blog post, your act of sharing could make a huge difference in someone else’s journey. You’ll also gain credibility in your area of interest, while building a community you can turn to when you need support.

Self-Improvement Through the Internet is Possible

The Internet is enormous – and enormously useful. Try some of these five ways to harness its power, make it more manageable and further your own growth. You could find yourself reaching new heights and achieving goals you never thought possible.

———-

Ryan Sauer is a writer and editor for Bisk Education, which was founded by Nathan Bisk whose mission is to be the end-to-end solutions provider of lifelong learning that allows adult learners to reach

their personal and professional goals through education.

  • http://www.acalltoaction.net/ Trevor Wilson

    While the internet can be a great place to learn and grow, we have to be careful. Browsing online can also turn into one big time-sink.

    It’s easy to spend hours “researching” online and end up with nothing, but a new collection of funny kitten videos and (de)motivational posters to show for it.

    If you’re tendency is towards procrastination (mine is) be very mindful of how you spend your time online. The internet is ridiculously useful, but you play a dangerous game every time you log on.

    Cheers!

    • http://twitter.com/rlcSAUER Ryan Sauer

      I definitely agree that you need to have the right mindset when you start your learning journey online.

      • http://www.acalltoaction.net/ Trevor Wilson

        Mindset is key to almost everything in life.

        Cheers!

    • sam

      *your

      • http://www.acalltoaction.net/ Trevor Wilson

        Lol. It happens.

  • http://selfstairway.com/ Vincent Nguyen

    Although the Internet is a very important tool for learning self-improvement, you want to be wary of information overload. I personally try to limit my intake of information by only reading up on things relevant to me. This means mostly practical guides and advice with a limited mix of entertainment and global awareness. 

    With that being said, Reddit has actually changed me in so many ways. It is so vast and the people in some of the sub-reddits provide amazing insight into things. There is bound to be a community for a specific topic of your interest and within that community are people willing to help you learn. I can’t thank them enough for their inspiration. 

    Then of course there are the blogs I follow routinely. The Internet has a bad reputation when it comes to “research” and learning because a lot of people use it poorly. I think you did a great job though Ryan. You made sure to cover using sources and penetrating a great community for a good learning experience. Thank you for the insight!

  • http://danblackonleadership.com/ Dan Black

    All great points.  I have really grown and learned a lot by reading blog posts. I think your point about checking the source is wise.

  • http://twitter.com/LanaJames80 Lana James

    Yes, I do agree that Internet has been a powerful medium in developing our personal growth, however, we should be more careful as it somehow becomes a place where a lot of indecent things happen and that may actually affects our personal development.

  • http://laptop-lifestyle.info/ Renaud & Sarah

    Indeed, but you know what? I have to say that I don’t agree when you say: “Keep in mind that many articles are simply advertisements for businesses that want to sell you something.” I bought courses and tickets to personal development events and  they provided tremendous value. We are human and we rarely give value to something we have for free. I wouldn’t discredit a website based on if they sell something or not. 

  • Pingback: 5 Ways to Use the Internet for Self-Improvement | Besides Reading My Blog « The Thoughts of an Old Fart The Thoughts of an Old Fart

  • http://www.theconfidencelounge.com/ Aaron Morton

    I think it is being in control of your use of time rather than your use of the internet. If you’re a browser, assign time to that very activity, get your fix then get on with doing work.

    Take care

    The Confidence Lounge

  • Pingback: 5 Ways to Use the Internet for Self-Improvement | Blogs about Health & Hypnosis

  • http://www.healthywealthyaffiliate.com/newsletters John Gibb

    hey Ryan,

    sharing and supporting others is key, as most Internet users are lurkers on
    forums, or too shy to start up a blog of their own and produce content worth
    spreading.

    let’s not forget how easy it is to “read” books on self-development,
    one after another,  and do nothing… letting them collect dust won’t
    bring any dividends!

    I think that if more people would start to think of or focus more on the other
    party (the person on the other side of the computer) life will feel better, and
    more individuals will develop into real humans and positive thinkers.

    P.S. I leave you with this quote by Will Rogers, American actor and comedian…

    “A man only learns in two ways, one by reading, and the other by
    association with smarter people. ”