I almost quit social media last week.
This won’t surprise anyone who knows me, but I was floored last week by the election results. Actually, the Spidey senses went off Tuesday morning and, unfortunately, they’re never wrong.
I barely ate anything on Tuesday. I forgot to take medication. when I went to bed Tuesday night/Wednesday morning I never fell asleep… I knew what was coming and I was so worked up about it that sleep never came.
Around 4:30 in the morning my wife awoke and realized I was still awake. She started talking to me, trying to get me to relax, and it took maybe 3 hours or so before any of it started to take.
During her calming words to me she uttered something that I finally decided she was correct on. She said that I should eliminate or drastically reduce those things that are bringing me turmoil and to start concentrating on doing things that might make me feel better and bring me a bit more peace and happiness.
I knew that she was correct, since this is something I actually started back in January when I talked about sculpting my Facebook feed and I did the same on LinkedIn. I knew that I had to take a second look at both and some of the other places I’m hanging out online.
I decided to start with news… almost all of it. The one account I was following on Twitter that wasn’t following me back was one of our local TV news stations. I decided to remove that from my Twitter following, as I had it in my Syracuse group column. That turned out to be amazing because it never occurred to me how dominating that was in that column. The number of accounts I have there is way more manageable since I removed it.
I’d been removing a number of people from my Twitter account for nearly the past calendar year, and not just people I disagreed with. You sometimes find that in the case of something like politics, too much can be a bad thing even if it’s a good thing… if you know what I mean. lol I really don’t like politics to begin with, just like religion, so if there’s a lot of either coming from someone I really don’t need to see it. I probably need to do more but for now I’m feeling pretty content with my efforts.
Next I decided to remove the general news column from my Flipboard account as well. Before last week I had already been removing many news sources from there, mainly those large news sites that only let you see so many articles before you have to pay to see them. What this has done is eliminated a lot of national and world news that I not only was allowing to get me upset but the stuff I really didn’t care much about.
This one hasn’t worked as well as on Twitter but it’s easy enough to see when other news sources pop up so I can delete them. The one thing I still have to think about is whether or not I want to remove Huffington Post, since it’s not really news and it’s only a small part of what they do, but right now a lot of political stuff is popping up and frankly that’s irking me.
I mentioned above about Facebook sculpting. I decided I needed to define it further. I first went into the F.B. Purity app and added more words and phrases I didn’t want to see anymore. I then went and looked at every single person I didn’t know “uber” well, changed most of them to “stop following”, and even moved a lot of them into the Acquaintances area. I didn’t unfriend anyone, since I’d done that earlier in the year, but I set it up so that it’ll take a fluke for me to see anything they put on Facebook and a fluke for them to see anything coming from me.
This still leaves LinkedIn and Google Plus for me to get to. Google Plus will definitely be last because, frankly, I’ve only seen maybe a couple of political things on there since Wednesday morning, and things move so fast there that it’s possible I might never see anything political in the coming week. I think that’s one reason why it’s a tough platform for people to warm up to, but it’s probably weathering last week’s issues better than all other platforms.
LinkedIn… that’s a much different animal. As an independent business it’s good to have the number of people connected to me that I have, but I’m thinking that probably 95% of those people I’ve never spoken to and aren’t even in a field I deal with, so maybe it’s time to cull that list a bit more… we’ll see how well that one goes.
I will say this though. Strangely enough, I was ready to totally disappear from social media. I did change my avatar on Twitter and Facebook, and I mentioned why on Facebook. A lot of people reached out to be on that article and through private messages saying some of the nicest things and offering me support. That helped me work through a lot of my negative feelings and depression faster, as it was something I really didn’t see coming. That showed me the true power of social media; it can make some people depressed but it can also offer a way of uplifting others when they need it.
It also helped me to start thinking about writing again. I wasn’t feeling it except for a sentence or two, but I knew I had to break out of that, so this is the first thing I’ve written since last Tuesday… and I wrote this Sunday morning. Since I usually write every day, that’s saying something.
If you feel like you’re being inundated with a lot of things that are making you feel bad, maybe instead of just leaving you eliminate the parts of it that are making you feel worse than you want to feel. I know that my buddy Donna said she was doing just that very thing on Facebook because she didn’t want to deal with all the negativity. Like minds, even if we headed in different directions (she’s a New Yorker who moved to Maine while I lived in Maine and moved to New York lol). 🙂
What kinds of things do you do to reduce being bombarded with a lot of outside negativity. Do you up and leave or do you modify things so that you have more control over what you’re seeing? Let me know; I wish you peace and happiness.