Generally speaking, there is nothing wrong with following the news. However, it's also important to unplug from the internet when you feel like it's giving you stress or anxiety or distracting you from your job or commitments. In the age of social media, the 24-hour news cycle, and constant engagement, it's always tough to disconnect; however, it can feel especially challenging to do so when so many people are legitimately terrified of what their lives will look like under Trump's administration. You want to stay informed, and that's a good thing — but it's also important to find some balance and look after your mental health, too.
If you're impacted by Trump's policies or ideas, it totally makes sense that you want to be in the know when a new report or tweet is released. But the news cycle is pretty much constant, and with the amount of coverage we have available to us all the time, it's near impossible for people to miss things entirely. But if you're worried about missing out on something vital, the good news is that unplugging Trump updates from your internet for a short while is unlikely to leave you totally confused and unaware of the political landscape of any given day. And what's more, doing so just might make a big impact on your stress levels.
People have very valid reasons to be stressed about the new administration, but taking a break from the Trump-focused internet might be just the thing you need in order to recharge yourself and be a better activist. Here are seven easy ways to unplug your internet — and yourself — from Trump media when it just gets to be too much.
1Block Social Media Sites
There are many free tools available that allow you to block websites on your browser for a set period of time. This is a great option if you're trying to work on a project or meet a deadline, but it's also great if you're trying to limit the amount of time you argue with your cousin on Facebook.
2Use A Trump Filter
Add the handy Trump Filter to your browser and the 45th President disappears from your internet.
3Disable Social Media On Your Phone
A lot of us have social media apps on our phones, which means we've gotten used to getting push notifications every time someone interacts with us. While these little alerts can make getting in touch and making plans super easy, it can also mean you have a constant stream of engagement. Disabling or deleting these apps can give you some serious breathing room.
4Filter Your Friend's List
If you don't want to "unfriend" someone, look into your options for filtering your friend's list. Maybe you simply don't want someone's friendly "debate" statuses popping up on your feed, or maybe you don't want someone to read the ideas you share on your own page. Twitter has the "mute" feature; Facebook lets you unfollow people while still remaining friends; and so on and so forth. Either way, no one knows when they've been filtered, so it saves some hurt feelings.
5Bring Back Your Non-Internet Hobbies
Break the habit of scrolling the internet when you're bored. Instead, bring a book to read on the bus, or a notebook to doodle in during your lunch break. If the weather permits, make it a goal to walk around the neighborhood while you wait for someone to get home. Give yourself tasks that do not include even inadvertent media consumption.
6Use One Thing At A Time
Stop multitasking on the internet. If you're watching Netflix or Hulu, close all of your other tabs, even Twitter and Facebook. If you're watching TV, turn off your phone and computer. Resist the temptation to "check" what's happening in the world every few minutes. Give yourself time to rest your brain and watch an unrelated TV series or movie.
7Set A Timer
When you pop open your computer for the day, set a timer. See how much you get done during that time, and what you've actually been doing. Not everyone works on a set schedule, so perhaps you don't actually need to accomplish tasks during that period — that's OK!
But setting a timer and then reflecting on what you've done might be a clue into how much time you spend consuming Trump-focused updates and how little time you actually spent reading that personal essay or movie review, emailing your mom, or so on.
Times are both hard and urgent. But we all need breaks every now again; otherwise, we just get overwhelmed. Treat yourself kindly. And get that Trump fella off your internet.