• Throughout the month of February, I focus on ways friends, fans and followers can be more loving – to each other and themselves, both online and off. No reason that we can’t raise our online standards.

    Frankly, the world can use more love, and I want to do my part.

    Christina Crook, in her book The Joy of Missing Out, Finding Balance in a Wired World, says: “Love has arms.”

    This simple sentence is important, because what it tells us is that while we can talk about love, or think about love, or post about love, it is love in action that matters.

    So, how can we take action on love in an online environment?

    The environment is virtual, true. But the people engaging in the environment are real. We are making real relationships when we connect online.

    One of the key tenets that guide good online practice is the #sharethelove principle. While it is a standard of online behaviour that is often neglected, there’s no reason that we can’t raise our standards, and no better time than February – the month of love.

    One of the best ways to share the love online is to amplify the success of others.

    Has a friend posted a recent accolade or personal win? Repost it. Congratulate each other publicly.

    Has a colleague or professional contact written a particularly moving blog post, or offered some excellent advice or insight? Share their posts and be sure to attribute the ideas to the source.

    Are your friends or family using the Internet or social media to promote a business, product, service or cause? Support them. Share their links.

    Many use our social media feeds to ask for input on problems or to seek ideas. Sometimes there are calls for help. Answer the call. Show up in the newsfeed and respond. Send a private message asking if you can help further.

    Do you love what someone is getting up to online, or are you inspired by their example? Tell them. Then tell others.

    It is a peculiar human trait that we are eager to shout our complaints and criticisms, yet we hold back our admiration and love. I say, be frugal with criticism and praise generously. These are just some of the ways that we can spread love online.

    There is almost nothing as heartwarming as receiving a personal note in the mail, old school.

    The English poet John Donne said: “More than kisses, letters mingle souls.”

    How about celebrating the month of love by penning a letter to a forgotten friend or old acquaintance? Better yet, what about sending a love letter to yourself?

    The relationship you have with yourself should be the greatest romance of all. Don’t know what to say? There’s help for that. Download your own free love note template. How’s that for an analog and digital intersection?

    Offline, we tend to declare our love and appreciation only at specific milestones – anniversaries, birthdays, retirements or special days like the just-passed Valentine’s Day. We forget that we can offer hope, encouragement, appreciation, affection, and support throughout the year. The language of love can be spoken in all seasons.

    Follow me on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. This article first appeared in the Maple Ridge News.