Home Tech Mute people on social media is fast and free and will change your life

Mute people on social media is fast and free and will change your life

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Mute people on social media is fast and free and will change your life

Yo I generally don’t believe in life tricks. As much as I would love to imagine that a simple change could spring my life back up like a cracked tennis court, time and experience have shown me that positive change usually comes slowly and gradually.

But there is one trick that I fully believe in. It’s fast and free, and it will instantly change your life for the better – simply mute the people who are bothering you on social media.

The process is different for each platform; Typically, you go to the offending author’s profile page or one of their posts and tap “mute,” “snooze,” or “unfollow,” but that’s it! This digital cleaning leaves your social networks impeccable, or at least less dirty than before. They’ve disappeared from your timeline, as have the various minor irritations they caused. And unlike unfollowing or blocking someone, the muted party has no idea they’ve been muted, so you don’t risk any awkwardness or drama.

I have a handful of people silenced. A couple of them are people I don’t want to unfollow. Others I’ve unfollowed, but I’ve also muted them because someone else might repost them and sully my pristine timeline. One is a semi-famous person who was rude to me many years ago over a work issue; another was rude to my friend. There’s also an ex and someone who constantly humblebrags in a way that makes me want to bang my head on something hard.

These individuals brought out the worst in me. When I saw your posts, I felt angry, petty, and small. I was wondering how much it might cost to buy billboards along major highways printed with cartoons detailing how terrible they really are.

Fortunately, I rarely think about these people anymore because I have silenced them on all platforms. Unless someone mentions them in conversation, I usually forget these people exist. They have been plucked from the lush garden of my brain.

But don’t just take my word for it.

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“Silencing accounts that repeatedly bother you is putting digital boundaries in place to create a healthier digital environment,” says Bailey Parnell, founder and president of the Center for Digital Wellbeing. It allows you to avoid distressing content without severing connections, she says—a solution for those perplexing situations where a relationship with someone is important to you, despite their annoying online presence.

“This can preserve your mental well-being while maintaining social or professional networks,” he says.

This may seem like obvious advice. However, it can be difficult to follow. The irritation we feel when seeing someone’s bad posts can come with a sense of satisfaction: look at them! Being annoying!

“There can be a dopamine rush that comes as a result of big emotions,” says Monica Amorosi, a licensed trauma therapist in New York City. We may come to crave the adrenaline spikes that accompany content that makes us feel shocked, angry, or disgusted.

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“If we have a mundane life, if we are understimulated, if we are bored or disappointed, then consuming this material can become a form of entertainment or distraction,” says Amorosi.

Amorosi emphasizes that it is important not to create a “space of ignorance” in our broadcasts by avoiding different perspectives or worrying news about current events. But this doesn’t mean that social media should just be a place to access disturbing information. Our feeds “can be used for healthy, positive education, connecting with like-minded people, seeing nuance and variety in the world, verifying information, learning new hobbies or ideas,” she says.

As such, muting is perhaps most effective against those who irritate you in a dull, everyday way: a pompous coworker, for example. Not seeing a humblebrag pretend to be embarrassed by yet another career success isn’t going to limit my worldview. Instead, I’m making up for five to ten minutes I could have wasted by screenshotting your post and complaining to my friends about it.

Honestly, I haven’t done anything with the time I’ve gained by not speaking ill of the people I’ve silenced. But how nice to have days that are at least five minutes more pleasant.

Therefore, mute freely and often. What if you don’t agree with me? Just silence me. I will never know!

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