Coronavirus and mental health

Mute it

Social media is a hotbed of conspiracy theories, abuse, rumours and people who think they know better than medical professionals. You log onto Twitter and then suddenly you’re 6 tweets deep in a long thread about how Big Pharma released this coronavirus to boost their hand sanitiser profits, or you go on Facebook for a bit of mindless scrolling only to find yourself reading about your Auntie Carol’s many thoughts on the government’s response to COVID-19.

You are in charge of what you see on your social media feeds. If you’re sick of seeing so much negativity and baseless scaremongering, it’s time to prune your social feeds.

Sorry Dave

On Facebook, you have the option to unfollow people without unfriending them. This means that you’ll still be friends, so no hurt feelings when they realise they’ve been ditched, but you won’t see their updates in your newsfeed.

To do this, find one of their posts (either on your newsfeed or on their profile) and click the three little dots on the right. This will bring up your options.

We all have those people on Facebook who share the worst stuff – fake news, racist “banter”, etc., but a lot of the time these people are family that you don’t necessarily want to exile from Facebook, so this is a happy medium. They’ll be none the wiser and you’ll get to see those amusing cat videos in peace.

How to mute words on Twitter

How to mute words on Twitter

On Twitter, unfollow or mute people who get you down, and head to your account settings and find your content settings to mute specific words so that you can read about something other than people fighting over bog roll.

You will probably find, though, that if you mute words like COVID-19 and coronavirus, that your timeline will be pretty empty because it’s all anyone is talking about at the moment. But this is the time to find new things that enhance your social media feeds.

Conspiracy theories about coronavirus are making the rounds at an alarming rate too, and you really don’t need to get sucked into that particular rabbit hole. Bill Gates wants to inject a microchip into you in the guise of a COVID-19 vaccine, and this is all to do with 5G? Mmhmm. Sure it is. Again, block, mute, unfollow, unfriend.

If you’re particularly interested in injecting some positivity to your newsfeeds, check out The Happy Broadcast, which shares positive and anxiety-free news. There’s also Positive News UK, which has a website too.

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