I had taken a break from logging into Facebook/Twitter/Reddit for the last couple months because it was stressing me out. I was feeling inundated by political news that were making me feel overwhelmed and not in control of the information I was processing. So I disconnected for a while and my mind began to feel a lot clearer. The battery life on my phone also improved by at least 3x.
I realized that while I appreciate and respect the views of the people I follow, as a collective the news they were sharing was crowding out my own personal views on the issues. I seriously felt like I was being radicalized after being subjected to a firehose of competing political opinions. I was worried I was contributing to that problem and doing the same thing to other people.
But I like using Facebook and Twitter to keep in touch with my family, friends and colleagues. It is valuable to me to see pictures of your pets, news about whether you’re safe from the latest natural disaster, and links to your latest paper that’s headed straight to my references folder. So I’m back on FB/Twitter for those things, but I’ve set some strict rules for myself.
- Only can log in on my computer. The phone makes it too easy and compulsive to log in frequently and scroll through. And I have to log out immediately after viewing, with only one login per day permitted.
- No more than one post per day on any of the networks.
- No more than one political post per month.
- No replies to anyone that I don’t personally know.
- No Reddit. I actually haven’t missed that one at all.
I hope I can find a way to engage and stay in touch with you all while not crowding out real life! Talk to you soon.