I have a really handy social media skill. It may actually prove to be a talent: time will tell.
It’s super for my mental health, and has amazing benefits in maintaining positive content on my social media feed.
It is, quite simply, deleting rubbish content on social media and snoozing the people who post it.
Obviously, “rubbish content” is a highly subjective term. But since it’s my hobby, and since it’s my social media feed, I get to decide what’s rubbish and what’s not. I don’t dictate to anyone else what they post, or what they read, or what they want to see. But I do get to decide on what I allow to speak into my life.
Things that get an instant veto are racism, intolerance, and hatred. The chances of them changing my mind on those issues range at the lower end of remote to zero. Also high on the veto list are conspiracy theories, politics, and ignorance. I’m not limiting their right to free speech, nor am I insisting that they think or believe. I am simply choosing not to engage with them. All I am limiting is their ability to speak into my space and my mental health.
To that end, I have deleted comments. Obviously, people can see if their comments have been deleted. If that bothered me more than the comments do, I wouldn’t delete them.
I have also muted conversations in messenger. The person on the other end of the conversation won’t know I’ve muted them, because I don’t often respond to general content in messenger anyway. Forwarded messages, videos, chain letters, those virus-laden ‘OMG I can’t believe this!’ messages and spam only ever come to my inbox to die, friendless, unacknowledged and alone. If it’s a personal message, that’s a different thing entirely.
I have snoozed or unfollowed people on Facebook. The advantage is that you can do both without those people knowing and getting all offended and being weird with you when you see them at the next family gathering or in the supermarket.
Furthermore, I have zero shame about doing any of it.
I have chosen to not engage in debates because I don’t have the energy, nor do I have any inclination to enter into conflict. My social media feed is not the place for a bunfight about whose lives matter or whether or not something is real. And if I post something and someone disagrees, they’re completely free to do so without starting an existential debate on my thread. They can do what I do, and simply walk away.
As someone said to me last week, it’s a bit like peeing in a wetsuit: it gives you a warm feeling, but nobody else notices. That’s absolutely true, but that doesn’t matter one bit, because I’m not doing it for anyone else. I’m doing it for me.
Here’s the how-to:
At the top right of a Facebook post are three dots, like an ellipsis. Click on those.
From the drop-down menu, you can choose to snooze the person who made the most for 30 days OR to unfollow them entirely. This means you won’t see anything they post unless you go to their profile.
If that person is sharing someone else’s post, you have another option.
You can hide all content from the creator of the original post without affecting your friend’s usual posts. This is usually my first choice, and I don’t snooze or unfollow my friends until they have deliberately and repeatedly shared what I consider to be rubbish on multiple occasions: that’s when I understand that I am better off just not seeing their posts.
Finally, if people think something I post is rubbish or disagreeable, they’re welcome to ignore it or snooze/unfollow me, too. Fair’s fair, and I’m really not that easily offended.