skip to content
Logo Logo Nick Hodges

How I do social media

/ 3 min read

I’ve been on Facebook for a long time. I joined when you literally had to prove that you were associated with a college somewhere. I think I had to gin up a *.edu email address to get in. It was fun to find old high school and college friends. And of course it still is. I remember it changing, though. I remember being bombarded by Farmville notifications, ads (believe it or not, Facebook didn’t always have ads) and all sorts of other stuff that I didn’t particularly ask for.

So somewhere along the line, it started getting…unpleasant. People started ranting about politics quite a bit, and that is when it started not being good for me. I freely admit that I got into waaaaay too many political arguments and huge flame wars. I was defintely a jerk and contributing to the horribleness that was Facebook.

But one day I figured out that I could actually take control of things. So here is what I did.

  1. I very brutally culled peole that I follow. If they posting political stuff of any bent, I pretty much unfollowed them. (Finding out you could unfollow someone without unfriending them was a revelation).
  2. I embraced ads — I discovered that you can train Facebook to show you ads for things that you are actually interested in. I don’t mind ads — I know a lot of folks use ad blockers, but I don’t. I actually like the new ad systems that show me things that I am actualy interested in.
  3. I also started seeking out groups that interest me. I follow my local neighborhood group and a few book groups for genres that I like.

Basically, I took control of my news feed. I did the same thing with my Twitter feed (I refuse to call it “X”) and my Google/Phone feed. I ruthlessly culled out all the political bullshit and crap that just upset me and over which, I finally realized, I have basically zero control. Insted, I see a stream of interesting stuff on sports, technology, books, and TV Shows that are of interest to me. Facebook is now mosly pictures of my friends, their kids, their accomplishments, and all kinds of other stuff that I like.

My Reddit feed is actually a pure joy. I literally go to it when I need a mood boost, posting encouragement to people who have lost wait or are happy today for some reason. I see happy, crying dads and laughing kids and baby elephants going goofy shit. It’s great. Same for Instagram.

Now, I still spend too much time doomscrolling — I’m working on that — but at least my feed is generally pretty much healthy and uplifting. I mostly enjoy what I see.