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Use Election Day to Kick Off a Digital Detox

If you’re a responsible person, you either voted in advance or braved lines (and COVID) to vote today. And that’s it. If you’re not planning to participate in any protests or help out with the political process in any other way, that’s totally fine. You’ve done your civic duty, and now it’s time to take a digital political vacation.

I’m not suggesting you should turn off your political switch entirely. There are very real problems in America’s crumbling systems and fixing them will require all of us to fight for a better tomorrow. But maybe literally tomorrow isn’t that time. We’ve all been through a lot, and anxiety is a real thing. Just as you’d take a break after a stressful quarter at work, so should you take some time away from the stress of politics across your favorite digital gathering grounds.

Ditching politics on Twitter

I’ve always been a fan of Twitter’s “Lists” feature, and it will be a great help to you if you want to keep up with a few important people or accounts while letting everyone else wade through political minefields online. Add your closest friends and favorite apolitical and/or silly accounts to a list, and just scan that instead of Twitter’s politically drenched homepage until you’re ready for the full firehose again.

That, or use Twitter’s ever-handy “muted words” feature to hide political content for the time being. Pick words and phrases you don’t want to see, and tweets containing them will be hidden for whatever time period you select: forever, 30 days, 7 days, or 24 hours. You’ll have to set this up for each word or phrase, but surely you can think of some great catch-alls—”politics,” “election,” “Trump,” “Biden,” “MAGA,” “Kanye,” etc.

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