Staying sane on social media: seems impossible, right? CJ Gotcher explains how you can train the algorithm and train yourself to intentionally use social media for your purposes.

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Social Media is Toxic

We’re probably beyond the naïve understanding some people had about social media a decade ago, that it’s a free way to connect with others and promote your ends.

Social media wants you to spend money and time on its platform. It engages you to stay on to serve its ends.

Staying sane on social media is challenging, as casual use will lead you to follow the engaging pathway, which isn’t necessarily the better angels of your nature want.

Bringing intentionality – knowing what you want out of social media, which platforms best enable those ends, and developing habits of use that train you and the algorithm can lead to the seemingly impossible notion of staying sane on social media.

Staying Sane on Social Media – Train the Algorithm

You play a part in the algorithm and whether you exist in social media in the first part. Which platforms do you use, when do you use them, are the applications on your phone, what content do you create and share, and what content do you engage with?

Your actions on the platforms play into the algorithm. If you follow someone or like something, that feeds the algorithm. Although you might think you want to follow an in-real-life friend, following or engaging with that friend can throw off your newsfeed.

Newsfeeds can slip if you’re not careful. Your newsfeed needs to be managed. You must intentionally follow, message, like, dislike, friend, people and groups.

Does this person or group’s use of the platform align with your own (ignore whether you like the person).

Staying Sane on Social Media – Train Yourself

CJ gives specifics for how you can tailor your newsfeed to your goals, through being intentional about how you engage with various content on the platform.

The problem, however, tends not to be the algorithm itself, but ourselves.

We begin intentionally engaging certain things, but then maybe we like something political or something we don’t really want in our feed, then the algorithm gives us more of this.

We slip up, use the platforms more casually, and we get casual (i.e. toxic or dumpster fire) results.

Setting ourselves up for success through some tips and techniques helps prevent ourselves from slipping up. Below are some ideas:

  • Don’t have the apps on your phone
  • Take social media breaks for sabbaths
  • Turn off notifications
  • Take time regularly to intentionally feed the algorithm
  • Limit time of day (do not disturb function)
  • Dedicate only one time of the day to social media

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