Congratulations! Other than a painstaking few more weeks, you’ve almost survived Election 2016 on social media.
After a video of Donald Trump making lewd comments was released on Friday, some people also reported this election had triggered unpleasant old memories and caused more stress.
Here are a few easy tricks to help you survive this election season.
Take time to mindfully disconnect
Xeni Jardin, co-editor of the blog Boing Boing, has a huge social media presence, including 109,000 followers on Twitter. However, she said she takes time to step away from it all every day.
“Set aside a window of time each day with all screens off. Disengage mindfully so I can re-engage sanely,” she told NBC News.
If you’re tired of a friend’s posts
It’s a safe bet almost everyone has at least one friend they don’t agree with who posts a daily avalanche of stories or rants about the election.
If this is someone who you generally enjoy interacting with on Facebook, but want to take a breather until after the election, you can unfollow them but still remain friends.
Go to their profile and click in the bottom right corner of their cover photo where it says “following” and then choose “unfollow.”
They’ll never know you secretly opted out of receiving their flurry of posts in your News Feed and you can follow them again at any time.
Twitter also has a setting that lets you still follow but mute people whose tweets you don’t want to see. Go to their page, click on the gear next to the “following” button and choose “mute.”
When it’s time to unfriend
In a heated election cycle, practicing restraint on social media may not always come easy.
Some people may even invite those who don’t like their posts to unfriend them, Diane Gottsman, an etiquette expert, author and founder of The Protocol School of Texas, told NBC News earlier this year.
“Take the challenge. If they challenge you to unfriend, by all means,” she said.
If you like to post political content
Hey, it’s your Twitter account or Facebook page. Go for it.
If you want to make sure the discussion is kept civil, Gottsman recommends asking yourself first whether there are any negative undertones in your post that could potentially offend one of your friends.
“It is not that we’re able to express a view, it’s the manner. Keep your tone calm,” Gottsman said. “Make a comment that is a fact but doesn’t have a negative undertone. Think about your audience. Your boss or pastor could be watching.”
If your friends are mostly civil but there’s just a handful of them who stir up some unwanted discussion on your Facebook page, consider putting them on a special list of people who can be restricted from seeing certain posts that you feel may stir up some unwanted debate.
On the left side of News Feed, scroll down to “Friends,” hover your cursor and select “More.” Next, click “Create List,” name it and add the people you want to include.
Next time you post, click on the button to the left of “Post,” and select “Custom.” Add the list of all those friends who like to stir the pot to the “Don’t Share With” section.
After that, you’re all set.
One final guideline
Gottsman said there is nothing wrong with letting someone know you disagree. However, she recommends doing so privately.
“If you disagree with someone vehemently, every single thought doesn’t have to be transcribed. It’s not necessary we have the last word. If you want to call someone out on their rant, do it privately,” she said.
“The best way is to hide, delete, ignore.”
Story via nbcnews.com