The Importance of Social Media Curation
We hear a lot about people saying social media is toxic and filled with political bickering but what if I told you it did not have to be that way? That you can effect your social media experience? It is within your control to have a positive relationship with social media.
What I See
My social media suggestions are usually puppies, babies, and big life events. My newsfeeds are basically the same. Why is this? It is because I have made a conscious decision to only click and interact with things that make me happy. When I see something political, from any point in the spectrum, I always select "See Less Like This" or hide the post entirely. When I see people bickering or complaining I do the same thing. If one person in particular offends me or posts items that repeatedly annoys me I simply hide them from my newsfeed.
Why Does This Work
The algorithms that control suggestions on social media are based upon the idea that they are trying to get your addicted to their product. It doesn't matter which platform we are discussion, they all want you on as often and for as long as possible. Purposeful social media curation, actively deciding what you interact with as opposed to mindlessly liking and commenting, allows you to tell the platform what you truly like. The algorithm will feed you more of what you like in order to keep your attention.
Now, when we say like we do not necessarily mean something you enjoy. Algorithms view likes, loves, comments, or basically any interaction as largely the same. The computer does not care what you are doing as long as you are doing something. This means that if you constantly respond to people you hate or who's opinion you disagree with, the systems will feed you more of that enraging content because it keeps you on their service.
Where to Start
To take control of your social media experience, the first thing you need to do is go through your newsfeed and hide anything that upsets you or makes you angry. You don't have to scroll for hours either, a few downward movements on almost any timeline set up will do. Next, if you notice that certain people are particularly offensive to you either unfollow them or defriend them all together. My opinion is usually to unfollow as no platform notifies users that you have chosen to hide their content as opposed to defriending outright which may lead to awkward conversations down the line.
Do this for a few days, actively hiding what you don't want to see and liking what you do, and you will have a more positive social media experience before you know it.