How to tame the social media beast (rawr)

If you’re anything like myself, a bipedal primate who gets distracted by shiny things and videos of cute kittens playing, doggo’s saving babies, YouTube shorts, blog posts, Facebook baby news, google discovery, apple news, tick tock or ooohhh shiny new something…

Drat!!! I was writing a how-to guide about taking control of your social media addiction Social media, right; yea, let’s go…

Social Media is excellent for keeping up with those people you knew once, it is also the source of the most pointless brain thoughts known to man & a great way to connect with people, it’s a double-edged sword of awesome, from a distance it nice a shiny but every time you grab it you play the game of “catch the non-oucher part or the oucher part”

As someone who can not remove themselves from social media due to project work like community outreach and recently researching the horrid aspects from a security research point of view, playing with the knowledge graph-powered bots to investigate how to protect kidders and young minds from dangerous content I’ve picked up a couple of tricks.

Some extensions for your browser, and some rules of engagement, so in this short post here are some basic rules to keep you safe in the long run.

Social Media Self-Care Rules

  1. No one is giving free things away, nope, never.
  2. If the service is free, you are the product (Twitter, Facebook, TicTock)
  3. Never share anything that can be used to hurt your feelings
  4. never be “you” make an avatar, and play the role.
  5. If you are scrolling on the “hunt” get off now, you are riding dopamine waves.
  6. If it feels like hate speech, it’s probably hate speech, do not engage
  7. Report offensive/dangerous posts
  8. DO NOT FEED THE TROLLS
  9. Silence is the best response

1 No one is giving free things away, nope, never.

No one will give you crypto, rich people stay rich by keeping the things, do not trust “Elon Musk giving away 1 BTC” he uses that for petting dogs and making spaceships

If the service is free, you are the product

What we mean by this, is servers cost money, and companies don’t do things for your benefit unless it is a Social Enterprise like us; so you are there to see adverts and to fulfil market research targets; to do this, these platforms have become masters in attention control, it’s helpful to keep this in mind.

Never share anything that can be used to hurt your feelings

Believe it or not, what you think has value in making a habit of keeping personal details away from the internet will go a long way to protecting you and your family from internet weirdos.

never be “you” make an avatar, and play the role.

People do this anyway, posting only positive news is putting a fake front up anyway; I’m not suggesting lying; keep to your values but don’t use your real name, create a character and use it as a shield so people who “know you” never really know you, so if the unfortunate event happens that you get attacked, they hit parts of you that can be struggled off with a little lost dignity but no harm done.

If you are endlessly scrolling get off now, you’re dopamine hunting.

News flash, if you are scrolling with no purpose, you are wasting your life, the news of so and so’s new kittens will be waiting for you; remove the apps from your phone or at least stop notifications; why do you need to know what is going on with Twitter, Discord etc when not at your computer? unless you are a teenager, put it down; read a book, watch a documentary or something to improve your life.

If it feels like hate speech, it’s probably hate speech, do not engage

Hate speech might not directly look like it, but there is such thing as subversive hate speech, so before sharing a post, think about it; to give an IRL example, recently I went on an impromptu holiday to unwind, wandering around the town I found a full Fanta bottle next to a war monument; seams innocent, right? Wrong! when you think that actually Fanta was created by Coca-Cola in 1940 as they could not import the ingredients, so be careful when looking at social media posts, it ain’t all sunshine and rainbows.

Report offensive/dangerous posts

Social Media platforms have a large task trying to moderate the craziness that it’s become, while they do their best the ONLY way to keep it safe for our kids is if we all pitch in, that said, only report if there is clear damage being done, you getting offended by others views doesn’t constitute a violation unless its unlawful or violates the platform rules.

DO NOT FEED THE TROLLS

Debate is not the same as people who just get a rise from arguments, there are sad people who are not content with using the internet like you and I; they want to be Right and to prove not only that you are wrong; they’ll ensure they educate you as to exactly why you are wrong so you will repent and change your ways; this is abuse, plain and simple, you will not win by arguing back.

Ignore the Narcasist; err, “Influencer Mindset”

This is for a subset of social media personalities, that unfortunatly are becoming the norm, this dosnt refer to wholesome influencters;

If someone is proving a point to you, their attachment to thought is stronger than their willingness to listen, you can sense an air of superiority from these types, who from my experience mostly seem to think of themselves as the nice ones; In case you have not been told, you are an adult, you don’t have to talk to anyone who you don’t want too, period if you don’t like something walks away if you need to state this thing no longer works.

Browser Extensions

Two extensions when combined will turn social media from a situation where content is forced into your brain into one where you are in control; once you have been running these for a couple weeks you WILL notice a difference in your life and keeping to using the extensions will become easier.

News Feed Saviour

Advert Blocker

If you use a website often, please add it to your whitelist, adverts is how they run their services, that said, some places you end up becoming targeted by greedy bussinessmen using retargeting to “close the sale” or “change how you think”

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