Interesting things that happen when you turn off certain notifications

Photo by visuals on Unsplash

After the disaster that was 2020, and after losing a few friends along the way, I learned to hate certain social media platforms (think FB). I realized that people I was “friends” with didn’t necessarily share my same outlook on things and certainly not on many things that happened during the past year. A social platform that is supposed to help us feel more connected actually caused me to feel anger, frustration, and angst. It was not a good place to be.

Years ago, I stopped watching network news because I felt like an outcast, which instantly raised my blood pressure. It seemed there was nothing but bad news, and this was fifteen years ago. This past year my social media feeds started having the same effect as the news had years ago. I walked around frustrated, angry, and confused. If you’re told long enough and loud enough that you’re wrong, you start to wonder if maybe you are wrong. That doesn’t mean I don’t think self-reflection isn’t an integral part of personal progression, but it can’t be all one-sided, and it felt — feels like my social media feeds were/are very one-sided.

So, what’s the interesting part? I moved the apps to a back screen on my phone. I turned off notifications. I stopped opening the apps. It was difficult at first. I love to lurk and see what’s going on in peoples’ lives. I like seeing what people post. Maybe it’s some type of voyeurism, but if people want to post, I want to see. However, I don’t want to see the hate and anger that started showing up. If I shared something, I had people on my “friends” list who vehemently disagreed and said as much. It led to snippish comments, things I wouldn’t normally say to someone, and things that others wouldn’t normally say. Things were said to family and friends that under normal circumstances would have never been said. So, I stopped opening the apps. I stopped looking. As I said, it was hard at first. I felt like maybe I was missing important things, but I soon realized I wasn’t missing anything. I’ve gone several days between opening my social media feeds, and now I get emails from those social media companies trying to get me to open the app. I’m told I have a certain number of notifications, usually over 10, and they try to convince me I’m missing out on things.

I’m not ready to completely walk away from those social media feeds, but I’m certainly willing to put them on the back burner. It helps me to feel more in control of my day and life. I don’t walk around angry or frustrated, at least not over something dumb said on some new feed. So, if you want to simplify your life, stop opening those social media feeds that make your blood boil and cause you to think, how could so and so think that way.

Just a guy trying to figure life out (still) and hoping I don’t offend too many people along the way.

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