“Be Nice on the Internet Week” by Stephanie Wintling

From January 9th to the 13th Real Simple magazine is promoting a social media revolution with a simple title of “Be Nice on the Internet Week”. When I saw the article about this idea in their December magazine, I instantly was remind of Teri Bump’s Post & Kristen Rupert’s Post on this blog. Both of their blogs reflect on the judgment and harsh criticism women use towards other women, and in Student Affairs we are not always the exception to this rule. Just a guess but I believe majority of Real Simple’s magazine subscribers are women and this week is aimed at us.

My initial thoughts were how sad we’ve gotten to a point where we need to declare a week on being nice on the Internet. However, when you review Teri Bump’s article and reminiscence on offensive posts you’ve probably seen or experienced on the Internet, you realize this is needed. Not only is this needed but how refreshing to know that a week of change, a week of growth is coming on the Internet. Also, this is easily something transferrable for when the week is over because it doesn’t have to end on the 13th. We can be intentional about being nice and positive any time. We must take the first step in being thoughtful and careful with what we say and do on the Internet.

The first part of the week is to challenge common negative acronyms used on social media and create a positive acronym. On Real Simple’s website you’ll be able to submit your positive acronyms to replace the negative ones commonly found on the Internet. The acronyms they are looking to replace are FU, WTF, SOL, KISS, and MYOB. If you don’t know what these stand for then please Google since some of them are inappropriate to spell out.  As student affairs professionals, we understand the importance of changing our language and this week is providing us a chance to change our online language for the positive.

While Real Simple is offering a newsletter that will have a daily challenge during the week, I would like to issue a challenge to the WISA community and to #SAchat as well. How about every time we sign in to a social media outlet next week we make a conscientious effort to make someone’s day by being nice. This is could be a tweet to another professional on how they have impacted your life or how they have helped you professionally. A comment on a Facebook picture or a recommendation on LinkedIn could absolutely make someone else’s day.  Let’s use #SABeNice as our hash tag to track the positivity within our community.

Yes this may be too emotional and sappy for individuals in the community but this does not have to be a “you’re awesome” “no you’re awesome” back and forth. This is a way for us to practice what we preach on in intentionality. Here is our chance to be intentional with our social media to be nice and promote positivity on the Internet. Plus how wonderful does it feel to spread positivity and receive it in return?



Filed under general, mentor, women

3 responses to ““Be Nice on the Internet Week” by Stephanie Wintling

  1. Thank you Stephanie for the shoutout & especially being part of the solution! Together we all can create a culture where women support and lift each other…when we do this we will rule the world…in a very positive way!


  2. Stephanie,

    Thanks for the shout out and great post. I hope to see people practicing this, not only this week, but frequently and long term.


  3. Gage Paine

    great post – one of the most depressing things to do is read the comments to articles and blogs on The Chronicle of Higher Education. Other news sources are equally bad, but somehow I expect more of educators (though I know there’s no telling who is really posting). But every little bit of role-modeling helps and this encourages me to have a conversation with a very talented student about what I read on her twitterfeed. I struggle some with the eavesdropping aspect of social media when it involves students, (which is why I never friend students on FB only respond to their requests). I’d give her this feedback if she used this term in person…of course she wouldn’t use it if I were standing in the room… 🙂

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