Removing toxic people and why I removed myself.
I have been on Facebook since 2004 when you needed an edu email to sign up. It has literally been a mark and journal of my adulthood. I am almost at the point where Facebook has been around half my life.
I’ve taken small breaks before, suspending my account for 2 weeks when I was working on my graduate thesis. It can be all consuming and a distraction. Than add that it is needed for my job and I realized I couldn’t get away from it.
I started to get sucked into long question posts with 100s of comments. All with many comments that were uncalled for or bullying. Politics being thrown in where it shouldn’t be. Horrible victim blaming. On cruising boards. Leggings boards. Community boards.
When you are consistently reading negative, how can you not evidently start feeling that way? I was waking up to this, falling asleep to it, and any bored moment was spent reading. I was sad. Crying at the drop of a hat. I was becoming toxic.
I knew at this point, I was the one I needed to remove. It has been a week now since I have moved away from facebook. I use hootsuite to post on my business page, but no need or urge to check my personal.
So what can you do if you are feeling toxic?
- Go through your friends/follows and see who can go. Someone from high school that you didn’t like then and still don’t talk too? AND they have a different political view and like to post about it? Bye.
- Mute those you cannot delete. I am sure we all have ‘those people’ that we just cannot delete because it will start drama in real life. Maybe a brother-in-law, a step-sister, whatever. Just because we feel we can’t unfriend them, doesn’t mean we need to see their posts.
- Decide if you are adding to a toxic online environment. Are you responding to post that trigger you in a way that is unproductive? Do you go off topic from the question asked? For example, someone asks if they can smoke on a cruise and you post in depth about why they should not be smoking in the first place.
- Put down the phone for a while. We do not need to be ‘on’ all the time. Twitter will not fall apart if we wait an hour to like someone’s RT. I promise.
- If this is not possible, try turning off the notifications on your social media apps. For me, this was still too tempting so I deleted Facebook and messenger from my phone.
- Make social media a job. Like any job, you are expected to go home or stop working. You accrue vacation time.
- Use social media tools to mange your sites to keep you from going down the rabbit hole. I mentioned hootsuite already, but Tailwind is another great one.
- Also on that note, check out some podcasts that relate to social media. This can help you move it into the ‘work’ category.
- Enjoy the free time you have now freed up. Trust me, it will feel weird at first. You will go reaching for your phone automatically the next time your hands are free. Notice this moment and decide what you can do instead. AND DO IT. Contact me to help you plan a cruise. Read. Write. Do that thing on your to-do-list that keeps getting pushed down.