About 5 years ago I made one of the best decisions I could have made for my mental health. That decision was to make the best effort I could to avoid any and all conflicts in social media. This meant no more posts which could potentially get a rise from someone from me and of course no more falling into the trap and commenting on my friend’s conflict-engaging posts. Sounds simple, right?
Well, at least for me, stopping my engagement in conflicts on social media took a great deal of willpower to overcome. In other words, I liken Social Media to be that of an addictive drug. And some estimates show that over 200 million people worldwide are addicted to Social Media.
So, after coffee in the morning, what is the next thing you do? Being as open and transparent as I can here, and if you are like me, my first inclination is to pick up the mobile phone on my nightstand. To make matters worse, I have two mobile phones – one personal and one company phone.
Changing Someone’s Strongly Held Beliefs are Fruitless on Social Media
Political or any psychological discussion on social media will never lead to someone changing their deeply held beliefs. Our brains are simply not wired that way. We are dogmatic by nature so any discussion involving two or more differing opinions is usually futile.
One problem that I had, prior to my self-imposed social media ban, was falling into politized debates. I would indulge myself in these political discussions on Facebook which would ultimately divulge into mindless drivel. Recently I wrote about how I almost fell into the same political trap in social media when I drew a “Let’s Go Brandon” design for a t-shirt I was planning to sell on my Etsy store. Please check out the post and let me know in the comments section your thoughts.
Here are five ways that I have used to avoid Social Media Conflicts – some of which may seem obvious, however, please do stick with me.
5. Keep On Scrolling
So I am sure you have seen this before in one of those politized or religious discussions. The person who wrote the initial post may respond to your disagreement with “next time, keep scrolling”. Well, there is a lot of truth here. I still enjoy social media in a limited capacity. So, when scrolling through, and I come across a post from someone who I know is prone to posting things that raise my blood pressure, I just keep on scrolling.
4. Consider Taking A Timeout From Social Media
Regular breaks from social media can also be helpful. Now I am not speaking about putting your phone down on the table while you go to the bathroom (who actually does that anyway?). What I mean here is a legitimate break from all social media. Stepping away for even one day raises my mental health while lowering my blood pressure.
3. Don’t Jeopardize Your Relationships
Whenever you take the notion to respond to someone’s post, ask yourself, “Will what I am about to write jeopardize the relationship that I have with this person?” If your response to this question is “Yes!”, then scroll on. Discussions surrounding a difference of opinions with friends or family will never end well. Do not fall into the trap laid by Satan.
2. Do Not Ever Say “Let’s Agree to Disagree”
Now this happens all the time. You are scrolling through your social media and you see an interesting topic that is seemingly innocuous. Three hours or even days later, realization sets in that you have fallen into the trap. At this point, I just back away slowly. There is no need to say, “Let’s Agree to Disagree” because the likelihood of the person or persons with whom you are having the debate will agree to disagree anyway. If they are anything like my friends they will never change their ways – nor should they since we are not mindless robots like in the Matrix.
1. Finally, Unfollow that One Guy Who Makes your Blood Boil
If all else fails, unfollow that one person who consistently makes your blood boil. On Facebook, unfollowing someone does not unfriend them. You can remain friends with that old high school buddy however your feed will not contain any of his or her posts. I have had to do this for more than one of my friends simply because I could not control myself from responding and getting into disagreements. The end result was better mental and physical health for me and also avoided jeopardizing that long-lasting friendship.
If you made it this far, please consider commenting below, subscribing, and also sharing on your social media sites. Most importantly, I ask for your prayers. I write this weekly blog as an outlet in my fight against depression. However, my hope is that something I write here may help others who may be struggling. If you would like to help with my battle against depression, check out my online Etsy store and affiliate links. Most proceeds are donated to the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention.
If you or someone you know may be contemplating suicide, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255 or by dialing 988. You may also text HOME to 741741 to reach the Crisis Text Line. In emergencies, call 911, or seek care from a local hospital or mental health provider.