If you’re like me then at one point you either deleted/deactivated some or all of your social media accounts, or you at least gave it some thought. However, I want to address how you can actually turn social media into a positive and uplifting experience. I’ll mostly be referring to Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter, but the rules should apply to all of social media.
The first, and most important step in my opinion is to unfollow certain pages or people. Now, there is a difference in unfriending and unfollowing someone. On Facebook you can unfollow someone without unfriending them. All this does is simply stop showing you their posts. But don’t get me wrong, if you feel the need to unfriend someone because of their negative or hurtful posts, then by all means, go for it. I even use the block feature sometimes, but only when someone attacks me personally or takes time out of their day to direct certain things at me. Tagging, private messaging, constantly arguing or posting negative things on the posts that I share will all lead to my blocking a person. However, I typically unfollow or unfriend people instead of blocking. “But Chase, the negative person is my family! I can’t unfriend them!” Okay, but you can unfollow them under notifications. That button works exactly the same for someone you’re related to or someone who’s a complete stranger. Don’t be afraid to use it. You have every right to block out negativity if you find it affecting you. Just because someone is kin doesn’t mean you should tolerate toxic, negative, or abusive behavior. Don’t excuse what they do just because they’re blood. You deserve better than that.
The next step goes right along with unfollowing, and that’s my following certain pages or people who are always positive, happy, and post good things. I have several pages that I follow on Facebook, and I went to their page and changed notifications to “See First”. That means I will see their posts on my timeline above others. When I’m scrolling through my timeline I see the things these pages post first. I have weeded my way through many pages and changed notification settings for “See First” on many of the really positive pages that I’d like to see on a regular basis. Also, by liking or commenting on posts by these pages the algorithm of Facebook will make sure you see these posts more often.
Alright, so let’s take a breath here because this next step is going to be difficult for most. STOP INTERACTING WITH NEGATIVE PEOPLE/PAGES! Just because someone says something you disagree with doesn’t mean you have to comment on it. Unless you have an educated opinion, and aren’t just speaking out of anger or hurt, then you should just move on. Feel free to unfriend or unfollow the page/person. I do this often. Not everyone is going to share your opinion, and that’s okay, but just because I disagree with someone doesn’t mean I have to get involved. This typically leads to an argument, which will negatively effect me the rest of the day. I hate that feeling. So the best thing is to just keep scrolling. I also avoid reading the comment sections on some of the posts or videos I see because I know there’s a 99% chance that someone will have something negative to say no matter how positive the video or post. Sometimes it takes a bigger person to simply walk away from a situation. The minute you begin, or participate in an argument you’ve lowered yourself to their level. There are literally people online who seem to have a daily goal of just ticking people off. Don’t let them win.
The next step is to not only watch/read/like things that make you happy, smile, or laugh, but to also share those things with your friends. I constantly share motivational quotes, cute animal videos, laughing baby videos (those are my faves!), and posts that restore my faith in humanity. Be the kind of person online that you want to follow and interact with on a regular basis. Don’t share negative things and stop posting drama.
My final step, and one I rarely use, is to report certain posts or people. Please understand that this should be used as a last resort. When do you report someone? If their post violate the terms and policies of the social media website. For example, if someone posts something extremely violent, threatens suicide or harm towards others, posts nudity, something regarding sex/child trafficking, constant harassment/bullying, etc. then please report those posts. Do NOT be that person that is constantly reporting someone just because they disagree with you. Please reserve this for dangerous, violent, or sexual posts.
I can honestly say that by doing these things I have literally created a positive/happy Facebook/Instagram timeline. I can scroll through FB or IG each day and see literally nothing but happy and positive posts. I see/share things that make me smile because I know if it makes me happy then maybe it will make someone else smile, and you never know who may need it!
So let’s go over this one more time:
1. Unfollow/unfriend certain pages and people.
2. Follow positive happy pages/people & change notifications to where you see those posts first each day.
3. Stop interacting with negative people. Don’t participate in arguments online. Just because you disagree doesn’t mean you need to voice your opinion. Be the bigger person.
4. Share things with others that make you happy/smile/laugh. Be the person online that you would like to interact with.
5. As a last resort, feel free to report dangerous, violent, sexual, or harmful posts or people to FB/IG/Twitter if it violates their terms, policies, and community guidelines.
I hope this helps! Let me know if you try any of these steps and if it makes a difference! 🙂
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