Online conduct that’s wise and positive helps us have a healthy lifestyle.
INTERNET wellness is an unfamiliar term to most people. Although many of us use the Internet daily in numerous facets of our lives, few understand what Internet wellness means, let alone promote it as a must-do when we surf or engage in other cyberspace technologies and activities.
Internet or cyber wellness is defined as a practice of positive behaviour and attitude by Internet users. It refers to an understanding of maintaining positive outlook in order to get positive outcomes in using the Internet and finally creating and promoting a positive cyberspace environment for all.
It is also about how an individual protects himself, not only against visiting websites full of bad content, but also in curbing the negative effects that may arise from going to such websites, so that the impact will not spread easily in the family or society.
Everybody should understand well and practise what is meant by Internet wellness and how to propagate it as a standard practice in living healthily. A healthy lifestyle is a choice by well-informed individuals.
Consider what a healthy lifestyle is. Here is The American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language’s definition: “A way of life or style of living that reflects the attitudes and values of a person or group.”
This means someone’s lifestyle is his way of looking and perceiving, as well as practising and leading his life, based on his perspective and world view.
Someone who leads a healthy lifestyle is truly aware that he has made wise, positive and healthy choices in his life and he understands the reasons and consequences of those decisions.
When Internet wellness is a part of a person’s healthy lifestyle practices, it indicates that he is well-informed about the nature of the Internet, and its technology, content, and the do’s and don’ts.
He also understands how to behave responsibly when dealing with Internet-related activities and issues.
Why is Internet wellness important? Everybody must be aware that the Internet, gadgets and technology can be double-edged swords.
The Internet and cybertechnology were developed to allow us to better communicate and share knowledge globally.
Our lives have changed significantly in recent years. So has the Internet and technology.
Despite this, we should not compromise our values and virtues just to compensate for the fast-changing world of the Internet and technology.
Rather, we should be in control over Internet use and activities and not let these enslave us and our values.
How does Internet wellness contribute to health and wellbeing? The fact is, wellness in whatever form contributes significantly to the promotion and maintenance of health and wellbeing, as well as to the development of good quality of life in general.
Similarly, Internet wellness provides Internet users with some methods and information that will guide them on how to get the best experience from using the Internet. These should form part of their good Internet habits.
Key components of good Internet habits include being respectful to other users, being honest, and always surfing the Internet with good intentions and a positive attitude.
It is not a good habit to go online with the aim of doing harm to others. This defeats the purpose of creating and promoting cyber world as a good place for communicating and strengthening human relationships.
Internet wellness requires that we use the Internet wisely, ethically and precisely, in terms of visiting the right websites and searching for specific and relevant information.
Timeliness in Internet wellness requires that one is aware of the time he spends in the cyber world. The longer one surfs, the more likely that the outcome will be negative. Long hours of surfing can be detrimental to one’s mental and physical health and wellbeing.
Indeed, eschewing bad habits and behaviour is compulsory as ordained by Islamic teaching. Each Muslim individual is required to curb negative habits and actions, and promote good and positive behaviour.
In the Quran, God promises those who call on good deeds, “Let there among you be a group that summons to all that is beneficial, commands what is proper and forbids what is improper; they are the ones who will prosper.” (Chapter 3, verse 104).
Among the purposes of this teaching is to establish the understanding and awareness of morals and virtues and that they are spread in society, and when practised, they will eventually create a positive and peaceful environment, so that there is harmony in society .Khairul Azhar Idris The STAR Home Opinion Columnists IKIM Views Tuesday, 6 December 2016