Use Election Day to Start Your Digital Detox

If you are the person in charge, you either voted ahead of time or dared (and COVID) to vote today. And it’s all. If you do not plan to participate in any protests or otherwise help the political process, that is fine. You have fulfilled your civic duty and now is the time to go on digital political leave.

I am not suggesting that you turn off your political switch completely. There are very real problems in America’s crumbling systems, and solving them will require all of us to fight for a better tomorrow. But maybe literally tomorrow is not that time. We’ve all been through a lot, and anxiety is a real phenomenon . Just like taking a break after a busy quarter at work, you should take a break from the political stress of your favorite digital venues.

Disclaimer Policy on Twitter

I’ve always been a fan of Twitter’s Lists feature, and it will be of great help if you want to keep in touch with a few important people or accounts while allowing everyone else to wade through political minefields on the Internet. Add to the list of his closest friends and your favorite non-political and / or silly accounts and just scan them, but not politically soaked Website Twitter while you again will not be ready for a full return.

Or use Twitter’s handyMuffled Words feature to temporarily hide political content. Select words and phrases you don’t want to see, and tweets containing them will be hidden for any period of time you choose: forever, 30 days, 7 days, or 24 hours. You will need to tweak this for every word or phrase, but of course you can come up with some great universal examples – politics, elections, Trump, Biden, MAGA, Kanye, etc. D.

Removing a policy from Facebook

It’s easy. Use Facebook’s handy Snooze tool to mute your politically minded friends for 30 days. That should be enough to give yourself a break, but if you need more time, you can always manually unsubscribe from them – just remember to add them back at some point in the future (using the dropdown arrow in the upper right corner of the web Facebook site > Settings & Privacy> News Feed Settings> Reconnect ).

Now might be a great time to skim through all the different pages or groups you follow, and cut back on your engagement a bit if you’re feeling political saturated. And there’s always the good old Social Fixer if you’d rather use a browser extension to manage policy in your feed instead of removing any connections.

And yes, we know: you can also delete Facebook or take a temporary timeout by deactivating your account .

Free yourself from Instagram politics

You can block the display of words in the comments of your Instagram posts, but you cannot simply block the display of hashtag content on the service. The best way to stay sane on Instagram is to go through the various accounts you follow and remove those who disappoint you with their content – however it looks.

Removing YouTube policy recommendations

Whenever a video or channel is recommended to you, you can always use YouTube’s built-in controls to indicate that you are not interested in that particular content. Or you can take it a step further and ask YouTube not to show you recommendations from that channel again.

Avoid politics in all your other applications

Consider limiting all the ways apps can bother you while you’re on your little digital detox. I am not saying that you should remove all news apps from your phone. Instead, perhaps allow only one app to send emergency updates in your device’s notifications.

Over the next month or so, there will be a lot of political breaking news to hear about. Tame your notifications or turn them off entirely if you prefer to decide when you’re ready to look for news of what’s going on. Eliminate the worry of getting 20 notifications at the same time every time a new twist emerges in the unfolding history of the 2020 election.

Disable messages from annoying friends and family

The latest versions of iOS and Android contain many tools that you can use to stay sane if you are stuck in political correspondence with family or friends. And I’ll add this for iOS users as well: you can also turn off name mention notifications in case your friends or family harass you directly about politics (or want to know why you don’t reply to your messages).

Consider disabling chat in your games (or opting out of multiplayer)

Now is a great time to take a look at your growing archive of “games, I swear I’ll finish one day,” and, you know, finish them – or start. I was eager to have another old school run in Baldur’s Gate II , but I was captivated by the need to prepare my World of Warcraft character for the upcoming Shadowlands expansion.

Problem? The main chat channels in my favorite MMORPG are full of political spam. I log into the system and everyone blows me up: people try to conduct reasonable discourse that quickly turns into a fight, trolls shout shit catch phrases over and over again, various promises of what a candidate of one party is going to do to violate the rights of everyone else, and a stupid political screed with profanity.

I have options: either turn off chat and remove a significant social component from the game, which is built around … communication … or I can switch to a game that does not require me to interact with anyone other than ideologically neutral ones. computer. I’m probably wading through World of Warcraft a little more, but I definitely want to download other single-player games in my lineup more than ever. Why put up with trolls for voice chat or political bastards with a keyboard if you don’t need it?

(I can only imagine how bad it must be in games where trolling is already a regular feature – you poor Call of Duty players must really be enjoying these wild times.)


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