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The Social Barrage – How to turn down the noise

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Trump was elected 15 days ago, and with the amount of news, controversy, protests, etc. it can understandably feel like it has been a significantly larger chunk if time than what has come to past. No matter what side of the field you you are on, these last few weeks have been exhausting.

I want to say from the top, there’s nothing wrong with fighting and standing for what you believe in, its what makes this country great. But at least for me, beyond congressman calls, donations to organizations who can work on issues, etc. the constant barrage of information and op-eds and protests entering my brain don’t help be at all, or encourage me to fight more. All they do is bring me down.

How I currenty feel right now...

I imagine some of you feel the same, so I’m going to share some of the tools I have been using to make this less painful.

News

Stop your notifications! If you have any kind of news app on your phone, remove it, or at the very least disable notifications so you’re not constantly pinged about every single thing!

I like to view news from sources I trust when I am ready to do so, in that regard, I read The Skimm every morning in my inbox. It comically goes through the key points of the previous day’s news. Beyond that, I have my news apps on the 2nd screen of my phone if I want to dig deeper without them sitting in front of me, bugging me to check what awful think has happened today.

Social Media

This for many of us is the big one! You can choose to open your news app when you're ready for news but you can never be sure if when you open your preferred social media app of choice, what will your friends be sharing today?

The route I have taken now with this is to use separate apps for my social media that allow me to do blocking. On the iPhone and iPad, I use Friendly+ as my Facebook viewer. Beyond the fact that it's cleaner and less resource draining than the regular Facebook app, it also allows you to block posts by key word.

how to block keywords with Friendly

When a post is blocked by keyword, if that particular word is found in a post it will automatically be hidden from view. It's not 100% perfect, as if some one shares a picture post, a keyword wont block that, as it cant read text in a picture. Friendly also can be used for Instagram if you like, and will do the same blocking. Although at least in my experience, I haven't found as much on the political end on Instagram.

If twitter you are a fan of, then it's time to ditch the default twitter app and pickup TweetBot! Absolutely worth the purchase price, its a better cleaner experience as well as having mute lists. With the mute lists, you can hide keywords or specific users and hashtags for set periods of time, or forever! One neat thing about the mute filters, when applying them for the first time, it will tell you how many tweets currently in your feed will be effected.

To hide keywords, hashtags, or users in TweetBot

I use iOS products for the majority of the time, but I know that's not everyone. IF you're on an Android phone, I would still suggest Friendly for your Facebook app, and Felix for your twitter app. These provide similar features to do what I have described above.

Adding Twitter keywords to blocks on Fenix

On the desktop side, you're going to have to start looking into extensions for your browsers, such as Social Fixer or FB Purity.

The above links are for Chrome, but these extensions are also available in Firefox and Safari

Hopefully with these implementations, now you will be able to take a breath and smell the roses. No matter your side of politics, these features can be utilized to kill the bombardment that is raising your anxiety. Some may say that this is selfish for x cause or y issue, and you need to do something about it now! I understand that sentiment and I'm happy you are so passionate about something you care about. I may care about your issue too, but for me, I need to be prepared to walk in the fire.

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