Setting Boundaries on Social Media to Reduce Stress
I’ve started setting boundaries on social media to reduce stress. Have you ever experienced negativity in your newsfeeds? Have you every been involved in groups where people getting into arguments? Possibly you’ve even made a status update and had people break out in an argument from your post?
I’ve found in social media that many people hide behind their computers and say things they would NEVER say in person. It’s almost like the anonymity gives people this brass boldness to speak harshly and however they like especially if they are making comments to people they don’t know. This can happen in any social media setting. I’m going to speak mostly about Facebook, since that is one I am on most of the time, and have the most experience with.
Setting Boundaries in a Group
I’m a member of SEVERAL groups on Facebook, and it’s very important to set boundaries. Maybe I should have started with personal timelines, but the groups really irritated me today, so I’m starting with the groups. Now, certainly if you are a drama queen, and LOVE to instigate the drama, this information won’t apply. However, I like to have peaceful surroundings and I’m constantly monitoring those situations I have control over.
First of all, PLEASE do not AUTOMATICALLY ADD people to your group. It is common courtesy to send someone a message or ask them on their timeline to join your group and send them a link to it. If they desire to join the group, they will. Invite people. Let THEM make the decision. Yea. That is a pet peeve of mine. I think for that reason I don’t like the “Facebook parties” that have become so popular. You aren’t invited. You are added. That usually turns me off right away from whatever the are selling. Do you feel the same way?
When you DO join a group, unless you want a gazillion notifications, go immediately to the notifications and modify the group. You can keep the notifications just like they are (and you will get a notification on every post), you can turn notifications off, you can get friends posts notifications, or only highlights.
If in a group, you can also decide if you want that group to be a “favorite” group, meaning it will show up more in your newsfeed. If the group gets annoying at anytime, but you want to still see what’s going on from time to time, you can “unfollow” the group. That way you will need to make a purposeful effort to look up the group to see what’s being talked about. If they group gets really annoying or there seems to be a lot of negative drama in the group, you can also “leave” the group. At this time you have the choice to decide whether someone can add you back in the group, or whether no one can add you back to the group.
A good group has good moderators that try and oversee the posts which may erupt into arguments or someone who may be doing spammy advertising. Even with the best of moderators, the groups can get out of hand especially with hot button topics like “which essential oil company is best”, or groups where other hot topic themes may occur.
That’s pretty much the basics for groups on Facebook.
Your Personal News-feed
Negative people. It’s inevitable. You will find yourself having friend-ed people on Facebook or Twitter, who are negative. This could be a relative, or someone you went to high school with. It could even be your best friend. Just how do you handle your “friends” on Facebook.
Be picky about who you accept as a friend on any social media. Do you know the individual sending a friend request? Do you have mutual friends or have you maybe “met” the individual in a group?
When negative or offensive conversations end up on your news-feed there are several actions you can take.
- You may want to determine if the offensive conversation is “out of the norm” from your friend. Maybe they are having a bad day, or are having difficulty handling a circumstance or situation in their life. I usually look at the patterns of this “friend”. If they are normal positive and have things to offer, I usually ignore one offense and chalk it up to a bad day.
- You can “unfollow” an individual. When you “friend” an individual there is an icon that is automatically turned on called “Follow”. It’s very easy to “unfollow” and they will not show up on your newsfeed anymore. You will have to actually put their name in a search to see their status updates and recent posts. This is a GREAT way to get constant “advertising” out of your feed. Some companies actually encourage their “reps” to post constantly about their products. Yep. That’s probably a product I’m NOT going to use. Just saying. If people want what you have, they will ASK you for more information. (yes many years ago, I’m sure I made this mistake and I’m very sure people have unfollowed me over it, and it’s OK. We ALL learn from our mistakes)
- You CAN unfriend people. Really. You don’t have to create drama and call out the individual. Just unfriend. You really don’t owe an explanation to anyone. Really you don’t.
- You can also set people to “acquaintances”. This way, if you don’t want everyone seeing or reading, or commenting on your posts, you can send your posts out “custom”, and sent to everyone but “acquaintances.
- You can BLOCK people. Yes. I’ve blocked people. This way you will not see what they post, and they cannot find you. Sometimes this is your only option if you find that an individual is “stalking” you or causing more drama and stress than you want.
I find by setting boundaries on social media that I can reduce my stress. I like peaceful supportive friends. I like to be a peaceful supportive friend. On occasion I may put up a rant. It’s rare. I love to share uplifting positive posts and articles. Everyone has a bad day from time to time. I love being able to look on Facebook and find encouragement.
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Be Well! Be De-Stressed!