Hasn’t it happened to you more than once, that seeing other people’s publications on social networks, you have gotten angry to the point of keeping the bad mood for a while ? That you have answered and started a conversation that has ended in personal insults? Or that you have shut up but have had to go tell a friend because you couldn’t keep it inside anymore? Yes, one of the most negative faces of social networks and of which users complain the most is the toxicity that is breathed in them.
This happens because in social networks, all of a sudden, all the people who can access them (remember the digital divide that exists), we have a space to speak that all the people we want will read. Even the people referred to, for example, you can send a message to the Prime Minister , although we can be sure that it will not be read. But message by message, trending topics are built, general speeches are generated that are picked up by the media, and contribute to create both positive and negative messages towards a person or institution. But, many times, we get tired of all this.
Social media affects me, but I don’t want to close my account
It seems simple that, above all this, the simplest and fastest thing is to close our Facebook or Instagram accounts, period. However, social networks can be the way to maintain contact with family , with friends who live far away, with people you have met online and you like to talk, they also serve to receive a lot of information that is relevant to you with a lot of simplicity, such as news, job or training offers, news in a leisure field that you like, etc. They also serve as a speaker for you to share things that seem important to you, so that they reach more people.
Some of the things you can do to eliminate that toxicity of social networks are the following:
- Block anyone who bothers you, without any regard. Social networks are a fairly impersonal communication channel in most cases, and keeping someone toxic on them is not going to give you any benefit.
- Silence whoever you want to keep for reasons of commitment, but that their interventions irritate you.
- Make an exhausted cut back on the accounts or people that you follow or have as friends, because sometimes we keep large numbers of followers or friends in them that we include at the beginning that do not contribute anything to us. In fact, the less information we have on the wall, the less we will tend to use the social network as a means of distraction when we get bored and, incidentally, we will use the mobile less.
- You can depersonalize your account to inhibit contact with you, or that it is not known who you are. A Twitter or Facebook without a photo gives the feeling that it is not used. Perhaps sometimes we are interested in giving that impression.
- Report accounts that contain hateful messages or insults or personal assaults on you or others.
- Make a clean slate: if you want to start a new phase in your life on social networks, and limit its use, a symbolic and very satisfactory way to do it is by deleting all your previous content. On Twitter, for example, it is very useful, because it helps you understand that the hundreds of thousands of tweets you wrote are already irrelevant material.
Sometimes we want to maintain our account to share messages, campaigns and speeches that we believe help to make visible realities, denounce injustices, etc. In such cases it is very common that we receive hundreds of messages negative mentions aggressive, insults, humiliation, etc . We return to the same thing, there are people who may choose to say that social networks are not a socially pedagogical way and it is not worthwhile to continue exposing these issues, and others who maintain the idea that they can be useful and do not want to close their account .
We must understand that both options are valid . It is not the fault of the person who shares these ideas that he is insulted (it is different in the case of speech that incites hatred, which must be formally denounced because of the implications they have on the well-being of society as a whole), and what we should To do as users is to learn not to insult anyone who disagrees with us.
Be it fair or not, the victim of negative comments must learn to manage these messages. Obsessing over them , trying to answer everyone, getting frustrated by not making them change their minds, taking it as a personal failure, or believing that these messages say something true about us, only leads us to suffering and the possible development of very negative psychological states. , from anxiety disorders, depression problems, etc. Some measures are:
- Block or silence people who repeatedly answer us wrong.
- Do not doubt ourselves: many people want to hurt us, but they do not know us, so their speech is based on inventions and preconceptions about us or us.
- Spend more time outside of social media to remember that the virtual world is only a small portion of reality.
- Putting a series of rules that prevent us from entering certain toxic games (for example, not responding to negative messages and, if we do, putting ourselves a kind of sanction, like the classic one of keeping a coin in a pot, or forcing us not to enter into the social network for x hours).