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How to simplify your social-media life

Joe Kissell | Feb. 7, 2014
Social media such as Twitter and Facebook can serve many worthwhile purposes, both personal and professional.

Nevertheless, you can perform the Facebook equivalent of muting by telling Facebook that you want a person to remain on your friend's list but not see any of their posts. To do this, hover over the person's name at the top of a post and click the Following button, which then turns into a Follow button. The other person won't know you've done this, but you won't have to see anything they write.

Simplify news consumption
RSS is long past its heyday, but many people still use it, often via an app such as the free Vienna or Black Pixel's $20 NetNewsWire, to keep up with news sites, blogs, and other regularly updated content. Some sites don't support RSS or do it poorly, so I have a bookmark folder in Safari that I Command-click to open each of its sites in a different tab.

Even though I won't hurt anyone's feelings by unsubscribing from an RSS feed or no longer reading a news site, I kept too many around, for too long, until I eventually realized that all those unread articles every day were making me anxious and inducing a false sense of guilt. So I pared them down to the bare minimums. (Another tip: if you follow someone on Twitter who always tweets links to their blog posts, the RSS feed is redundant and you can unsubscribe from it.)

Although I still keep up with tech news, I've decided it's important for my mental health to avoid following other news (whether on the Web, TV, or other media). If that sounds extreme, considerotherexamples of people who feel the same way.

I still hear plenty of news second-hand, but I no longer volunteer for a full daily dose of sadness and rage over awful things happening in the world that I can't do anything about. And you know what? I've been much happier ever since.

 

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