Making social less rubbish

When over 100 million people have now joined Meta’s new Threads hoping for an alternative to the now comically insane Twitter, maybe think about taking a break from social altogether. A break from social media is good for your health.

I came off all social media for several weeks earlier this year. It was a useful reset and helped me break a habit that was disruptive and distracting and made me worse company to the people in the room with me. I highly recommend taking a break. Now. Do it now.

Follow Cal Newport’s advice and don’t tell anyone you’re doing it. Not only do you find out how indispensable or otherwise social is to you, but you may also find out that your presence on social media isn’t as significant to others as you thought. Finally, it’s ridiculous to announce your departure from social media and if people even notice, they’ll just take the piss.

I’m back on social media now, but differently. I’m much less active and I’m doing it with a suit of armour.

Two recommendations for making social media less rubbish:

  1. Be on it less. Take a break (at least a week, ideally longer) to break the habit then see it as the time sink it is. Those genuine friends you have through social? Meet them. Call them. Text them.
  2. Delete your social apps. No notifications, more steps to reach the site. Browse social on Firefox with the uBlock Origin plugin (which can also be installed on the Firefox mobile app) and see no more adverts in Instagram, LinkedIn or Twitter.

Finally, there are alternative apps that make using some ad-riddled social networks bearable, even enjoyable, if you’re willing to try them and accept that they can break. Instander is an ad-free Instagram client and YouTube Revanced is an ad-free YouTube client.

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