If you’re ‘doomscrolling’ social media, here’s how to take control

There are ways to filter some of the hate speech, hoaxes, negativity

Scrolling through the barrage of negativity on social media can affect your mood and mental health. There are some ways to filter and take some control over what you see.

SAN ANTONIO – From politics to the pandemic to civil unrest, it can be hard to avoid “doomscrolling” through your social media. That’s when you just can’t stop looking at it, even if it’s upsetting you.

Psychologists say the barrage of negativity, including hate speech, violence and misinformation, can not only affect your mood, but your mental health as well.

But social media doesn’t have to be that way.

“You actually have some control over what kinds of posts you see on social media,” said Consumer Reports Tech Editor Thomas Germain. “This isn’t about blocking out the world and pretending that nothing wrong is happening. It’s about taking back control and deciding when you want to interact with this kind of content and doing so on your own terms.”

For example, on Facebook, you can unfollow someone or simply “snooze” them for 30 days by clicking the three dots at the top right of their post.

Or, you can “hide post" so Facebook learns what kind of content you do not want to see. Using those same three dots, you can report abusive content or spam.

Twitter and Instagram have menus on the top right that allow much the same thing.

Another way to avoid social posts that may get your blood boiling is to sort your feed chronologically instead of how the algorithm thinks it’s most likely to get your attention.

Consumer Reports offers instructions for customizing your social media accounts on its website. Click here to view the instructions.

About the Author:

As a consumer reporter, Marilyn is all about helping people stay safe and save a buck. Since coming to KSAT in 1985, she’s covered everything from crime to politics, winning awards for her coverage of the Mexican Mafia, Oklahoma tornadoes, children’s transplants, an investigation into voting irregularities and even a hit-and-run Santa Claus.