Every average Internet user has an account on social media. It’s our way of staying connected to the world, not just our friends and family. With all the amazing Internet offers around, it’s hard to imagine someone without Internet access and hence social media presence. The other day I heard my friend talking about Spectrum Offers internet in Maine for low-income households to ensure every home gets Internet. That is cool. Social media is great for business and average Internet users but it’s flooded with the negativity of Social Media, criticism, and narcissism that can emotionally hurt just about anyone.
However, there is a way out! You can keep the negativity of Social Media in check by taking control of your social feeds. Here is what you can do:
Scan Your Fiends List
No need to have hundreds or thousands of friends or followers on your social media accounts. If you don’t know them better, they don’t deserve to be on your friends’ list.
Check for inactive accounts as well and remove them once and for all. Some of us have such friends and followers who like to spread controversy around. It’s time to remove all of them. Look for fake accounts as well. They are mostly trolls or they want to get access to your account.
Follow this rule: If you don’t interact with them once a while, they need to go.
Thankfully, most social media platforms now allow their users to filter content. If there is something trending and you don’t want to see it on your account, simply block it. This is how you can filter content on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram.
Twitter lets you mute buzzwords. Log into your account and follow these steps:
- Go to the Settings and Privacy option in your account
- Select Privacy and Safety.
- Under the Safety tab, choose Muted
- Then click Muted words and the words that you want to add to your account
- Select Save
This will mute all the phrases, buzzwords, and hashtags from your feed that you no longer want to follow.
Back in 2018, Facebook introduced the keyword snooze feature to let users take charge of what content to see and what not to. It was in the beta phase and we haven’t heard from the social media giant about this feature ever since.
However, there is still a lot that can be done to filter your Facebook feed. You can block people, upgrade your privacy settings, and even choose whether you want to snooze a user for a few months without having to unfriend them.
Instagram also doesn’t have a specific tool to filter content or keywords. The platform gives some power to its users over their newsfeed through the mute feature.
Let’s say you want to block a friend who is an active advocate of political news. But you don’t want to unfollow them either because they are also close to you. Fear not. Pick the posts from that user’s account and mute their content. There you have it, your Instagram feed is now filtered.
Constructive Criticism vs Trolling
This is a useful tip for those running social media pages. Users will flood your posts with negative comments. As much as you like to respond to all comments, not every user deserves your attention. Figure out whether you are dealing with a troll or someone offering constructive criticism.
Don’t drain your energy over a jerk who is just spamming your posts with pointless speech. If they are trying hard to bring you down, let them try harder by ignoring them.
Block When Necessary
At times, someone from our friends and family may leave a hurtful comment. This includes negative political remarks that can upset just about anyone. Responding to the negativity of Social Media can backfire sometimes. In this scenario, the best response is no response. It simply isn’t worth your time.
When their comments boil your brain that is when you know it’s time to block. A person who only has negative feelings doesn’t deserve to be followed.
Impose Screen-Time Limits
Now screen-time is not just a useful tool for keeping kids away from tablets and other devices. It’s very effective for adults as well. The best solution to navigating noxious elements of social media is to stay away from it in the first place.
I am not asking to deactivate your accounts but to put your devices away for a few hours during the day. Trust me, your body will thank you. Instead of seeing the screen, go talk to your siblings, mother/dad, kids, partner, or anyone available in the house. Human contact is mandatory for good mental health too.
Just like a coin has two sides, every convenience brought by technology has a negative element associated with it. For instance, my grandpa says online Spectrum billing and payment features might have made it easier to pay the bill from the comfort of a couch but, it’s also making us lazy. He is kind of right because that means we won’t be walking to a store to pay bills.
The key to survival is finding the right balance. Weigh the positive and negative of social media and decide how you want to take control of your life.