We all love social media and how it allows us to connect and share our lives. But what if your news feed or notifications aren’t quite tailored to making your life more interesting or enjoyable? It might be time for a digital cleanse.
You can live a healthier lifestyle both mentally and emotionally by making sure your social media feeds show you what you want to see. Rather than simply putting blinders on, filtering and refocusing might just be the break your mind needs. Try these simple hacks to maximize your relationship with social media:
Use Browser Extensions
Browser extensions are the precursor to phone applications. You use them on your desktop computer to extend the functionality of a browser, like Google Chrome or Apple Safari. Most browsers have their own online store where you can download several browser extensions for free, but the developers of the extensions often have their own sites, too.
Now, you can select browser extensions to limit what you see on social media feeds. Products like Remove All Politics from Facebook mostly do what they say. Filtered keywords will keep stressors off your timeline, but a friend’s post about a local politician or a silent protest that has everyone in a tizzy might still show up on your feed.
Downsize with Apps
To that end, use handy apps, like Tweetbot or the extremely robust TweetDeck, to clean up Twitter in a snap. Let’s say you want to live a healthier lifestyle by refraining from negative self-talk. It might be useful to refocus your content toward inspirational memes or thoughts you know your friends appreciate—and get rid of glossy, unrealistic images of beauty or lifestyle. Your favorite celebrities can be a great source of entertainment and escape, but they can inspire envy sometimes, too. Take care of the problem by crafting the feed you need.
Unfriend, Unfollow, and Take a Break
This one isn’t exactly a trick, but it’s one of the simplest things you can do to curate your social media. Does it really matter what an old classmate from middle school thinks about the latest celebrity gossip? And do you really want to be bombarded by a deluge of vacation photos, videos of the kids, and incessant status updates from “the over-sharer”? Use Facebook’s new Take a Break feature to limit what you see of certain friends, and more importantly, what they see of you on social media feeds. They’ll never know, and when they visit your profile, it’ll just look like you haven’t posted in awhile.
Don’t be afraid to log off for a period of time. FOMO—”fear of missing out”—is totally real, but it doesn’t have to be overwhelming. Focus on the here and now. Put on tunes with the Sony Noise Cancelling Headphones to drown out distraction and relax. Read positive lifestyle content instead of peanut-gallery commentary. Plan exciting travel on high-value airlines, like JetBlue (just maybe skip the in-flight Wi-Fi), or lace up some cool kicks, like the Adidas Climacool Knit Running Sneaker, to work up a good sweat.
With a few taps or clicks, you can still have a ton of fun on social media. You don’t have to let it drag down your mood or self-esteem. It’s your feed—clean it up, turn it around, or give it a break, and then get back to connecting with the activities and people you care about.