Lynnwood Lifestyles: 3 ways to filter your social media for mental health

The year 2020 seems like it’s lasted a century already, and it’s only July… 

Let that sink in.

At just a little over the halfway mark, we’ve seen protests, fires, murders, a global pandemic, death and let’s not forget — murder hornets.

And that’s just the tip of the iceberg. 

So, to say that it’s easy to get depressed over the sheer flood of negative news these days, is a bit of an understatement.

But you’re in luck. We’ve lined up three easy ways to filter your social media to spare yourself the pain, heartache, and anxiety caused by this year’s ongoing bad news:

Step 1: Pinpoint outlets you can’t stand… and block them

If you love YouTube but just can’t stand The Economist because they have amazingly crafted videos and articles (they really do) that actually use logic and research to depress you, block them. 

It’s simple enough: Visit their channel, hit the three dots to the right of their name on the top of the page, and click “block user.”

The same thing goes for any Instagram accounts that make you feel bad (for any reason). Unfollow them at all costs. It doesn’t make sense to keep following people who make you feel bad on a daily, weekly or even monthly basis.

Step 2: Teach the algorithm

Many social media platforms like TikTok have smart algorithms that learn what you like based on a few things: 

    • The comments you like
    • The comments you leave
    • The posts you like
    • The posts you linger on

With the rare exception of posts that platforms throw at you to see if you’re interested (relatively rare), most of the time when you’re consistent enough with your comments and likes, it’ll pick up what you like and stick to it. So for example, if you spend your free time watching, liking, and commenting on pet videos, your feed will mainly be filled with animal posts. 

The same rule applies to news. The more you swipe past negative news posts, the less you’ll see them.

Step 3: Click ‘Not Interested’

If you’ve ever used the Instagram Explore feature (the magnifying glass on the bottom left, next to the house icon) or an equivalent on another platform, then you know how irritating it can be to have to see tons of negativity all at once. 

On Instagram it’s particularly bad, since it’s notorious for fat-shaming posts, heavily edited female forms, materialistic accounts, and of course, news-related posts — all on one platform.

But there’s a silver lining. Simply click on a post you dislike, click the three dots to the right of the account name, and select “not interested.”

Do that enough times, and the platform will start to eliminate all similar posts, accounts, and hashtags, leaving you with a friendly Explore mode.

Jennifer Mendez

By Jennifer Mendez

Jennifer Mendez is a content creator and Lynnwood resident who specializes in copy, graphic design and photography for her clients. Whenever she’s not creating something, she’s exploring new places to eat in the area.

 

 

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