The Girl’s Totally-Not-Sarcastic-Guide To Surviving The Internet

It’s true that the Internet can be a fairly intimidating and uncomfortable place.

There are websites and message boards and comments sections and more reaction GIFs than you could ever hope to imagine. When one considers just how wide the World Wide Web truly is, it might be difficult to think about your place in all of it — especially as a lady.

However, there are ways in which you can go about your daily life online and remain at your most comfortable, and I’m not just talking about browsing from the safety of your own living room in your stretchiest, most worn-in pair of yoga pants.

It’s why I’ve compiled this helpful list of tips to help you make the most of your online experience, based on the stories I’ve seen and heard from the ladies I know.

When preparing to log online, have your wits about you. Chug a Red Bull, do some stretches, get your heart pumping. As you send each missive off into the ether, you will be able to rest secure in the knowledge that your mind is at its most honed. If necessary, feel free to sharpen your nails into perfect talons in order to wield them most excellently on your keyboard/screen of your smartphone/etc.

While it’s important to voice your opinions, don’t come down on one definitive side of an issue; everyone prefers 50 shades of grey areas. History has shown time and time again that people don’t really care for women with strong opinions. A male someone will likely try to convince you that your view is incorrect, anyway. Who wants to put up with that malarkey?

Whenever possible, try not to provide any identifying information. Although it might be tempting to show off your flawless selfie game, maintaining anonymity will go a long way towards increasing your level of Internet comfort. If you can use an avatar that doesn’t even look like you, so much the better. Wouldn’t you rather be represented by an adorable illustration of a cat anyway?

Make sure not to forget to don your armor for all those online slings and arrows that the trolls will attempt to throw in your direction. Chain mail can be hot in the summertime, but you’ll be grateful for it later when those e-barbs and insults bounce harmlessly off you.

If civil discourse is not an option, have a strong relationship with your block button. It’s there for you, almost as if it was designed expressly for you. Use it. Take advantage of it. Bend it to your will. The level of satisfaction you will receive from the cone of silence that falls around you, isolating you from the haters, is a comfort in and of itself.

If all else fails, surround yourself with ladies who will watch your six online, who will come to your aid at the first sign of trouble. In the trash bucket that can be the Internet, these individuals will help you clean up big time. (Femsplain — the ultimate provider of online lady comfort — is among those places working to do exactly that.)

While it’s true that safe, comfortable spaces on the Internet can be difficult to unearth, it’s also true that once you find them, there is nothing wrong with immersing yourself in their wonderfulness in order to ride out any hatestorms. Who doesn’t benefit from a little comfort every now and then?

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