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5 Social Media Tips to Prevent Pandemic Info Overload

5 Social Media Tips to Prevent Pandemic Info Overload

Social media exposure can be both good and bad for you. During times of crisis, it can be a worthwhile tool in accessing the right information and staying up to date with current news. However, it can also be a source of anxiety, since it's so easy to see posts from friends and acquaintances that are often fearful, misinformed or uninformed. If you are staying home during a pandemic lockdown, knowing how to use social media to your advantage is crucial if you don't want this useful tool to morph into a source of accelerating anxiety.

In this age of pandemics and lockdown, read on for tips on using social media a better way. 

1. Stick to verified and reliable sources

It's easy to get overwhelmed with information, from facts to opinions to everything in between, when your eyes are glued to social media all day. This information overload can get worse if your friends on Facebook and Twitter are posting and then sharing each other's posts. Streamline the information you consume by sticking to verified and reliable sources. Start with sites like CDC.gov, the WHO website, official national websites (think Canada.ca) and their Facebook or Twitter pages, and the social media output of scientists and doctors who are at the forefront of fighting and studying the virus that's causing the pandemic.

2. Stick to positive or useful news

You don't want to add to the noise with all the negative and fake news going around online. So if you can, limit your posts to those that are positive and useful. Hotline numbers, links to online volunteer groups, links to support groups, and updates from reliable sources are examples of information that is worth sharing. Refrain from reposting information shared by friends and family members, especially if these are unverified or cannot be linked back to reliable or official sources.

3. Avoid arguing online

Online arguments are a waste of your time because these rarely result in concrete results in real life, so avoid them at all costs. If you are tempted to set something (or someone) straight, skip the stressful confrontations and seek out a more reliable source of information supporting your side to post on your own wall.

4. Purge your feed

If you have too many Facebook friends posting unverified information online or friends who are inclined to post useless information, purge them out of your feed. Facebook lets you do this with the Follow/Unfollow option. Simply change your settings so you can reduce the unnecessary noise and stop following them. They won't know that you unfollowed them because you remain friends, but you get to tune them out when you need to.

5. Go on a social media detox REGULARLY

Even the most streamlined social media feeds can be overwhelming, especially if the bad outweighs the good in the news. Get off social media for a couple of hours daily. Allow your mind and emotions to reset so you can focus on what's tangible instead of all that virtual noise in the online world.

All-day access to social media can make it seem like you're always drowning in information. Wade through the sludge by using the handy tips above. Better yet, eliminate the useless noise altogether through selectively investing your time by learning from sources that serve reliable, responsible, evidence-based and objective information.

Read 2326 times Last modified on Thursday, 26 March 2020 17:40
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