To preface this: This is not “how to use social media.” This isn’t some SEO BS post about how you can get a billion followers with “this one simple trick!”
This post is about navigating the sea of garbage that exists on websites like Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram. It’s about how to have a presence on those sites and still be able to go to sleep at night not feeling like maybe global nuclear destruction isn’t such a bad option, after all.
It is not easy. That’s why I post once in a blue moon; because social media makes me sick.
For my own convenience, I’m going to break this down by website and start with the worst of the worst.
I hate, hate, hate, hate Twitter. Ironically, it’s also the platform I’m most active on because it’s where 90% of my friends are and isn’t focused on pictures (I don’t show my face, remember). I’m also well aware that Twitter is where you meet people and, more importantly, network with them. It’s really tough to have your own hustle and not be at least semi-active on Twitter.
So, here’s how I’ve survived my time on this necessary evil.
The people I don’t know (and don’t want to know):
Some people are hesitant to block people because they don’t want to cut their potential audience down. Personally, I’m okay not having assholes reading my work or buying my stuff. Chances are, those kind of people wouldn’t be interested in what I do, anyway. But, if you have a thick skin and don’t want to just block potential sales, I suggest…
I know that for some people, this is extremely difficult. I’m not judging; I get it. Even though I don’t want to engage with these people, I do spend hours ranting to myself about what complete idiots they are. Is it possible to get the best of both worlds? I want to share something with you that a friend of mine suggested. When she sees someone being stupid/ignorant, she types out her reply, waits a second, rereads it, then deletes it without posting. That way, she feels like she’s said her piece without actually having to talk to human garbage.
The people you know (and don’t really want to offend):
Maybe you have friends on social media who you know in real life, or you’ve known for years, and you don’t want to unfollow or block them. Maybe you know they’re good people, but for some reason when they get on Twitter they just turn into giant dick-monsters. I get it. I probably am those people.
So, how do you navigate this tricky situation?
FakeNewsBook! Facebook is one of those necessary evils for keeping in touch with distant friends/relatives. But, it’s also a cesspool of misinformation.
How to keep in touch with your friends, then? Install the Facebook messenger app (but delete the main Facebook app) on your phone. It will allow you to still message your friends via Facebook without having to ever lay eyes on the sewage that is the news feed.
If you just can’t forgo the feed, let me introduce you to F.B. Purity. Unfortunately, this only works on the desktop site, but it has been an absolute GODSEND. I have a friend on Facebook I’ve known practically all of my online life. She’s incredible. If I ever get married, I’ll invite he to my wedding. But, she shares EVERYTHING that is even the least bit political. And I noticed when I fact-checked it (because that’s what I do now), 90% of what she posted didn’t check out. F.B. Purity allows me to hide “shared” posts (it has individual settings for pictures, videos, pages, statuses etc… and even has a text filter which will hide posts containing certain words/phrases). If you’re worried about filtering out that friend who shares content that’s actually interesting, don’t worry! It has a “friend whitelist” feature which will prevent those friends’ posts from being filtered out, regardless of your other settings. And if you have a momentary lapse in judgement (or just feel a little masochistic), it will show a link at the top of your feed telling you how many posts were hidden and will give you the option to show those posts (which will be bordered with a dashed line so you know what was filtered out and what wasn’t).
Seriously, I cannot recommend this gem enough. It makes Facebook bearable.
Instagram is probably the least detrimental of the Big Three social media sites I use. While Twitter and Facebook can actually have serious negative impacts on one’s mental health, I’ve found Instagram mildly annoying at it’s worst.
The biggest problem with Instagram are the bots and the people who follow you until you follow back, then unfollow you. Maybe you might find a jackass or two in the comments section, or an account you find unsavory. Here’s how to get through it.
When you do find yourself staring down the post of one of these plebs, I recommend the same advice I gave for dealing with assholes on Twitter: Don’t engage and block them so you never have to see their garbage posts in your tag again.
So, that’s how I manage to scroll through my social media feeds without hurting myself or others. Hopefully these tips can help you live a calmer, less stressful online social life.
And if they don’t, I mean, I guess there’s always Pinterest?
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Hi, there! I’m Adie and this is my blog! I’m a thirty-year-old humanoid from sunny San Diego, CA. I’m a student (dietetics), a writer, a photographer, an agnostic witch, a cupcake aficionado, and a compulsive maker of lists. From Adie, with Love is a personal blog; a place for me to talk about whatever pops into my head.
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