Altruism is when a person has a natural inclination to give back to others. If you’re struggling to identify altruistic traits, think about people who might be hungry but give away their food to help someone else instead.
The world relies on the generosity of people so that others can access basic necessities that they have otherwise been denied. With climate change, conflict and poverty remaining prevalent across much of the world, the need for altruism is as necessary now as it always has been. The good news is, it’s far easier to give to good causes now that we have technology in our lives.
Here’s how technology can make you more altruistic.
You can see the true extent of issues that aren’t happening in your immediate vicinity
One of the best things about the internet is that you can research almost anything in the world on it, and you can usually see visual aids, too. This means you could be scrolling through the news or your social media feeds and come across happenings further afield. For example, if you’re based in Finland, you might not necessarily be aware of what’s going on in Mongolia because it’s nowhere near you. Apart from international happenings that make the news, you’ll likely have no idea.
The internet can bring things to your attention that aren’t otherwise on your radar, and this could well encourage you to be more giving and more altruistic. Not only this, but you can share the information on to people in your social circles, and this could generate more help for those who need it.
You can make a difference more easily
Historically, donating to charity would have to be done in person because the internet and online payments weren’t a thing. This means it was more effort for people to give to a good cause, and it was inconvenient for most, therefore putting them off doing good acts.
With the internet being at our fingertips, it’s easier than ever to give and lend your support. Whether you’re donating to a climate change project in the Arctic Circle or giving funds to help ease the burden of food shortages in Ethiopia, you can make a difference to people thousands of miles away relatively easily.
Lots of charities allow you to set up automated payments which means you can routinely give with little to no effort. There are some cultures where giving is ingrained, such as Islam, and the internet has made it easier to fulfil duties such as what is known as Qurbani.
You can make informed giving decisions
There are so many issues around the world that are all incredibly worthy of receiving help. For truly altruistic people who have a natural impulse to help and give, it can be hard to know which cause to spend your time, effort and money on. Every problem is relative, but there are some instances where people are worse off. Through technology, altruistic people can do their research and compare different causes that are close to their hearts, and they can then make an informed decision on which cause to give to.
This isn’t to say that other causes are less worthy, but in the event of emergency relief situations as a result of things like natural disasters, infrastructure might not necessarily be in place which means the situation is more urgent.
Whilst technology is great for the giving part, arguably one of the best things about it is that you can see the difference you’re making in real time, encouraging you all the more to be altruistic and keep going.