7 May, 2012  |   79 Comments

Solutions for a painful internet, my Mom 2.0 presentation

I believe there are no more than 3 ways (ahem) to feel better from the internet.
And no less than 74,000 ways to feel worse.

helenjane's internet ailments

So step right up, get on in here,
I have tonics, salves, liniments, ointments and remedies for your ails.
Internet related ailment, that is.
I have relief.

helenjane's internet ailments

See, over last five years
The scale and velocity of story sharing
image sharing and
sharing sharing has increased in a way in our brains and emotions have not.

We humans need to step back and see how fundamentally different human interaction has become since the internet’s adaptation by billions. This onslaught of pictures and stories and potential and the fact made visual that we are all connected to every body

It’s affecting our brains.
We have no choice but to evolve.

In fact, our brains are evolving…

helenjane's internet ailments

Right now.

We’re in transition.
Most transitions are marked with pain.
When we don’t recognize that transition for evolution, we feel terrible.


helenjane's internet ailments


helenjane's internet ailments

We’re transitioning right now.
And a little painfully.


helenjane's internet ailments

We’re evolving.
And it hurts.

Thankfully, I bring you
No less than
three tools for feeling better.

Let’s soothe those internet pains.

helenjane's internet ailments

We’re going to
Protect your neck
Show you a Jealousy Map
Then use our imaginations to think of tiny scientists.

First up?
Protect your neck

helenjane's internet ailments

When I sit with the internet during my normal surfing,
I pay close attention to my body’s reaction to the words I consume.

I feel the burning in my throat when someone I consider my peer gets that accolade.
I feel my eyes fill with tears as I take in your pain.
I feel my stomach tense as I share your outrage.
Oh, that outrage.

Becoming aware of these physical reactions is the first step to controlling them.

helenjane's internet ailments

The second step? Control my feed of information.

What’s coming in that might be poisoning me?
What toxic hate,
Gossip, and
Constant complaining am I consuming?

You have my permission to unfollow that which makes you feel bad.
I don’t care how good friends you are.
If their stream takes away your precious energy, you have a right to protect yourself.

helenjane's internet ailments

Another way to protect your neck is by remembering these three words, “It’s not about me.”

Your mom broke her hip and had a stroke and your Dad died, but you weren’t close, because you had a bad childhood and I totally understand – and then your kid died and I’m so sorry and every time I read that post I imagine it happening to me because it’s always about me.

Your pain is now about me.
Your pain becomes me.

But on reflection, I realize that I consume this media in isolation so SEEMS LIKE IT’S  about me.
It’s not.

Unless I write it, it’s not about me.
We see it when authors announce book tours, pregnancies, philanthropic efforts

Why wasn’t *I* picked for this?
Instead of, “Good Job.”

helenjane's internet ailments

Why aren’t you coming to Poughkeepsie?
Instead of, “Congrats on the book tour.”

helenjane's internet ailments

Well at least you HAVE a baby…
Instead of, “That must be hard for you.”

helenjane's internet ailments

On the internet it seems like it’s about me, but it’s not.

Pay attention to your body,
control your feed and remember,
it’s not about you.

I’m feeling better already!
Next up?

The Jealousy Map

helenjane's internet ailments

An epidemic of less than on the internet.
It’s impossible to avoid comparison.
When I’m jealous, instead of acting out, I don’t take your opinion seriously because, well, obviously you have it so much easier.

You’re already well-off.
You have a stay at home wife.
You got there first.

You have it so much better than me.

Thanks to Julia Cameron’s The Artist’s Way, I now use jealousy as a tool.
I make a Jealousy Map.

Make a grid with three columns. Labeled, WHO, WHY and Now WHAT?,

helenjane's internet ailments

Start filling it the WHO with the folks you’re jealous of.
Fill in WHY with the reason you’re jealous and fill in the
NOW WHAT? part with the first thing that jumps to your brain.

helenjane's internet ailments

Some of the “So NOW what’s” come off as so simple they may sound silly.
Don’t let that fool you.
It’s how this tool works.

Oh that familiar jealous sinking in my stomach when I think it means I can’t ever measure up, I take it as a call to action.
Not as the end

Protect your neck
Jealousy Map
We’re on to Tiny Scientists

helenjane's internet ailments

Our internet is barely ten years old. Its current mobile-visual-branded version –  less than five years old.

When I get all judgey and mean about online authors, I stop it cold by thinking of other authors as five year old scientists.

helenjane's internet ailments

Would you be as judgemental and mean to a five year old in a tiny lab coat.
(Like one with a little twitter handle embroidered on it…)
As you are (inside your head, of course) to some other bloggers?

helenjane's internet ailments

I didn’t think so.

helenjane's internet ailments

Think of all of us as little experimenters.

helenjane's internet ailments

Sharing news through a personal lens, this experiment is barely five years old yet we consistently judge people as if they should know better.

helenjane's internet ailments

We’re all just bumbling along in our labs, trying things out publicly.
Let’s use our imagination to appreciate the internet for the experiment it IS.

Since you’re amazing, I’ve decided to share one more bonus tip with you.

We ladies have a unique emotional skill.
We can of add guilt to an already bad feeling.
We slather it on in a thick layer.

helenjane's internet ailments

It’s like a sad feeling club sandwich with bacon of regret, turkey of self-loathing, lettuce of sadness.
It’s bad enough.
And THEN we try to add this, some peanut butter of guilt.

Don’t put the peanut butter on a club sandwich.

helenjane's internet ailments

Don’t put guilt on an already bad feeling.

Feeling bad for feeling bad is something our gender that we can stop.
Starting… now!

helenjane's internet ailments

To sum up:
Our brains are evolving.
Protect your neck and remember: it’s not about me.
Use Jealousy as a tool with a Jealousy Map.
Imagine us as tiny scientists.
Don’t put the peanut butter guilt on a sad club sandwich.

You can find for all your internet ailment relief at helenjane.com and @helenjane.

helenjane's internet ailments

79 thoughts on “Solutions for a painful internet, my Mom 2.0 presentation

  1. 1
    Greg says:

    The Internet may be in its infancy, relatively speaking, but this is still the best damn post it has ever seen.

  2. 2

    No doubt, I enjoyed your presentation at Mom 2.0 Summit. Still, I am biased to the fabulous hair you donned while up there 🙂 Loved it!

  3. 3
    Angella says:

    I love this (and you) so damn hard.

  4. 4

    I didn’t have the pleasure of seeing this in person, but I love. Everything about it is perfect. PERFECT, I say. Well done, my friend. I will just pretend I was clapping for you in the audience.

  5. 5
    Annie says:

    I love your presentation Helen Jane. You do such a top notch job capturing all the slippery ways in which the judgeyness and jealousy can be flipped into something more positive. Thanks for sharing your brilliant thoughts on how to salve a painful case of the internets. Gold stars a plenty for you.

  6. 6
    sweetney says:

    You are brilliant and awesome and hanging out with you was our favorite part of Mom 2.0 (yes, I’m speaking for Charlie now). And sorry for the gushing, but reading this just reinforces how much we love and adore you. THE. END.

  7. 7
    April Damron says:

    Great presentation, I can tell a lot of hard work and tears went into it. You inspire me.

  8. 8

    This is awesome. So are you. 🙂

  9. 9
    Jessica says:

    This is fantastic, and I’m kicking myself across the room for not attending. But! Thank you so much for sharing, it’s so right on. I loved talking with you on Saturday night and look forward to connecting again!

  10. 10
    Lisa says:

    You are amazing, HJ. Thank you for writing this and for sharing it. It’s so simple and so true. (It also looks awesome, love the graphics!)

  11. 11

    I hate that I missed this in person. This is uncut awesome, right here.

    Beautiful job, friend.


  12. 12

    Your presentation during Mom 2.0 was right on time for me. Thank you so much for sharing your gifts with us! Loved it!

  13. 13
    heather... says:

    You are awesome as always, Twinsie.

  14. 14
    Sarah says:

    Fantastic! Thank you for the humor, the reality-check and the good advice!

  15. 15

    […] Key Biscane last weekend. I went as a speaker and as a sponsor (for FMP, my day job). I spoke about some of the ways the internet can make you feel bad and how to feel better. I spoke to lots of other authors and publishers about Daily Buzz Moms and Federated […]

  16. 16
    glamazini says:

    Awesome! I’m excited to employ the jealousy map as a tool. Thank you for sharing.

  17. 17

    […] Jane has really good solutions for a painful internet. She’s a […]

  18. 18
    Jen Singer says:

    This was among my faves from Mom 2.0, especially the 5-year-old scientist part. Thanks for helping to make Mom 2.0 so memorable and helpful.

  19. 19
    laura k says:

    This is fantastic. I am bookmarking this and coming back to it whenever the internet makes me feel bad. Thanks so much for writing this.

  20. 20
    sclass says:

    So amazing. Thank you for the wisdom!

  21. 21
    Anne says:

    This was exactly what I needed to read before a lazy Saturday morning of web-surfing (and, no doubt, Facebook envy-cycles)

    Thank you for your wisdom!

  22. 22
    Lori says:

    Oh my goodness…this post is brilliant and your graphics are perfection! I try to do my best to help others “protect their necks” by trying to be as positive as possible in my assorted postings (let’s be honest, nobody likes a Debbie Downer!) I love The Artist’s Way….Jealousy Maps have seriously changed my life (I used to be such a green-eyed monster). And the Tiny Scientists concept is great…will definitely keep me from being a Judgie McJudgerson!

  23. 23
    ajira says:

    I solemnly swear not to add peanut butter guilt to the sad club sandwich. Thanks for these awesome, awesome suggestions. Tiny scientists. Love!

  24. 24
    Carly says:

    I have no idea who you are. I’ve never met you, and never read a single thing on your blog (except this). But I heart you so. freakin. hard right now. I needed this. Thanks so much for a fantastic post! I’ll be back to check you out again. 🙂

  25. 25

    […] “Solutions for a Painful Internet” | Helen Jane: What are we consuming online? Do we think about it? As strong and visually appealing a case as I’ve ever heard for learning to whittle down what you’re listening to, especially online, this post reminded me to protect myself in terms of what I’m taking in. […]

  26. 26
    Marissa says:

    Your presentation was one of the highlights at Mom 2.0 – right up there with the gorgeous view of the ocean. Both showed us the horizon. Thank you, Helen!

  27. 27
    Jenny says:

    I love this so much. I want to print some of these graphics out and tape them on my bathroom mirror, my fridge, and of course, my computer screen.

    Thank you for putting this together.

  28. 28

    I came over here from Kizz at 117hudson dot com. This is awesome. EXACTLY the right words at the right time. I’ll be sharing this. with EVERYONE!

  29. 29
    Elena says:

    I am so glad you posted these…I loved hearing you share your passion in person at Mom 2- but seeing these again is incredibly helpful as a reminder …especially to think of ourselves as tiny scientists.

  30. 30
    Maya says:

    So great. So true.
    Also, I have spent way too much time reading your blog the past two days! Absolutely love your perspectives and writing Helen.
    Also, we should hang out sometime!

  31. 31
    Coco says:

    You are a brilliant being. Thank you for this. And thank you for validating that I am not the only person who feels this way about the internet. This article just allowed me to admit to myself that jealousy is indeed creeping its nasty little head in to my world… and now I can turn around and look it in the eye, learn from it and grow.

  32. 32

    […] Solutions for a painful internet […]

  33. 33
    Sandra says:

    Brilliant, just brilliant. And what I needed to read and ponder and absorb and apply. Right now. Not this weekend but right now. Thank you…

  34. 34

    […] none of these people are you.  It’s not about you. (Mere examples, plucked from the […]

  35. 35

    […] Solutions for a painful internet. […]

  36. 36

    […] feeling jealous. This advice is kind of silly and simplistic, but sometimes that can be good. And this kind of helps too.No, I have no regrets. (I ordered a print for myself. I think it’s a […]

  37. 37
    Miss B. says:

    Brilliant. Well said and well presented, absolutely lovely!

  38. 38
    Heather says:

    Well, there, Helenjane. I think you are a very smart person.
    I will add to your idea: it’s hard to work in a competitive field where you never see your competition. You are classy. I hope I am classy too.

  39. 39
    Aisling says:

    Love this post and especially the cute illustrations – thank you.

  40. 40

    […] as a small business owner (actually I think I meant to put it on the page but didn’t) and solutions for a painful internet (both great), home remodels, hardware and ridiculous requests from craigslisters). Turning to milk […]

  41. 41
    Jen says:

    This really helped me today. And it will help me again tomorrow. Thank you!

  42. 42

    […] I so needed to read Helen Jane’s solutions for a painful internet yesterday. And again today. And probably again […]

  43. 43
    Jenn says:

    What a wonderful post! It’s abut hard to read knowing that I am nodding in agreement to some of the negative self talk habits I have picked up. But as usual the first step to recovery 😉 is acceptance. Thank you for putting your words out there!

  44. 44

    […] sent me a link to this brilliant meditation on internet jealousy by Helen Jane. The words go right to the core of my being. I think she’s spot-on in saying that: […]

  45. 45

    […] okay, we’re just tiny scientists. We have lots of time to evolve. We can course […]

  46. 46

    […] Thanks to Diane’s post, I found this great post on internet jealousy. […]

  47. 47

    I love this so much! Especially about the peanut butter on the club sandwich. Not only when it comes to internet jealousy…I do this ALL THE TIME! It’s funny how seeing something written out can make you realize how silly it is, and you need to stop that right now.

    I like you, Helen Jane. You’ve got a good brain.

  48. 48

    Oh this was just what I needed today! And the irony is that I was AT Mom 2.0 and I didn’t see your presentation. Next year perhaps… 🙂

  49. 49

    […] makes your brain hurt, this will get you pondering boundaries and what it all means. See also Solutions for a painful internet by Helen […]

  50. 50

    […] makes your brain hurt, this will get you pondering boundaries and what it all means. See also Solutions for a painful internet by Helen […]

  51. 51

    […] ever makes your brain hurt, this will get you pondering boundaries and what it all means. See also Solutions for a painful internet by Helen […]

  52. 52
    Giggles says:

    why..why am i only finding you now!!!you’re so wonderful!

  53. 53
    Ken says:

    Amazing presentation. Great information and it looked beautiful too!

  54. 54

    […] Refrain From Comparison. Comparison is a killer, especially in this age of social media where people post about their awesomeness all day long for all the world to see. I had the pleasure […]

  55. 55

    Just came across your blog & this post. So great! I’ve been online / blogging a long time too, and it really has opened up, changed, become the overwhelming juggernaut it is today in the last 5 years for sure. Nice to keep that in perspective.

  56. 56

    […] we need to STOP.  (If you’re having a particularly hard time with this one, take a look at Helen Jane’s Solutions for a Painful Internet).  In the context of branding – the experience you create for your audience is so much more […]

  57. 57
    leviscato says:

    The images in this post are beautiful! I want to hang them all on my wall.

    Also, this post is wonderful. Words to live (blog) by. Thank you.

    Ashleigh x

  58. 58

    This fabulousness is fabulous!!!!! YOU are FABULOUS.

  59. 59
    JToh says:

    Congratulations on an amazing post! (see what I did there?) The words and pictures are beautifully done. I hadn’t realized that I needed this message today, but I’m glad I stumbled across it today. Time to get rid of the bad feelings club sandwich.

  60. 60

    […] Helen Jane’s Mom 2.0 Presentation: Solutions for a painful internet – Originally created as a presentation deck, it nevertheless has impact and suggested prescription for anyone who is feeling overwhelmed by the changes social media has brought to our lives. […]

  61. 61

    Marvelous post and the images are so wonderful. I kept them on my cell phone, Amazing. Its time to stop and get solutions for painful internet. Great job.

  62. 62

    […] Refrain From Comparison. Comparison is a killer, especially in this age of social media where people post about their awesomeness all day long for all the world to see. I had the pleasure […]

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