How to Block Politcal Yarn and Herd Facebook Rants
If you are spending any amount of time these days on a online socially, you have invariably been bombarded not just by messaging from the candidates but from the far right and left, and the over-reaching opinions of your friends and family. At first I am sure you pick your sides and with your good humor move past. But as the calendar marches towards election day the messaging can be stifling, polarizing and at times overwhelming. Much of this messaging can get in the way of your online socialization – hijacking an evening while you are watching lip synched speeches from either side or your uncles rant about Obama or your second cousin’s realization that The Onion is in fact not real.
Where to look?
If you have a moment to pause while you socialize virtually and a little time to do some research, there are ways you can carefully control what kind of political content you see on places like Facebook. Hard to imagine but you can still educate yourself about current events outside of Facebook posts. So blocking your cousin’s rant about her how her rights are being violated by the pundits or your old boss’s views on coal vs. gas are possibilities. These fixes don’t aim to pull a blanket of disassociation over your sense of duty as an informed American, it only aims to keep you from unfriending family and friends and helping you maintain calm over the next month until this will all come to some end.
What are the options?
First things first – there are extensions for your browser that you can adjust to do much of your tailored bidding everywhere – and during these politically over-sharing times, they are just the trick. Start by downloading the Social Fixer for your browser by Googling your browser’s name and the words Social Fixer. This fix will make your entire Facebook experience becomes more pleasant. Once the fixer is installed go onto your account settings in Facebook and set your preferences to minimal installation. This will enable you to retain some of your Facebook’s personality.
Next up are links that people post – again folks this is about getting your time back. If you are going to bother to waste your time on Facebook you should try to maximize the time so that you get what you intended out of it. So setting up a status filters is your next safe bet.
Go into Social Fixer’s options and add a new filter and add the following text in the matching selector box:
You can further customize this to remove anything else you want excluded like errr maybe cat videos. Once you are done click the Hide box and this will remove any of those updates that contain any of those words with a URL address. While this won’t remove everything it should significantly slim down these time sucking posts.
There are several other fixes you can add with your social fixer. And while these are online fixers herd some of that political yarn, don’t fret, the overcoming holiday creep will ensure that all your friends and family will get together to recap what you missed.
This insightful article on cultural online mores was written by Julee Whalin. Julee is an heavy crafter of the word on tech and gadget topics. She primarily writes for Consumer Priority Service, a company that provides extended warranties to retailers.
Image Credit: LOWVC,