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Muting the Swamp People with Eric Johnson

Eric Johnson is the host of the Follow Friday Podcast.

To offer your own advice, call Zak @ 844-935-BEST


ZAK: Not all of us but most us are struggling with some form of social media addiction. I certainly am. And that's why today's advice is very refreshing and helpful.

ERIC: Yeah. So my advice is to mute people aggressively. Specifically on Twitter but I think this applies to any sort of social media. And my reason for that is part of the way I think you have a good experience online is to curate who you follow to really seek out the best people and try to and just focus your time on the people who are most interesting to you who also represent a broad range of your interests who are not just one thing. But, a necessary compliment to that is that I think you should also be muting, un-friending, un-following...generally speaking policing what else gets into your feed and really trying to be vigilant about not letting too much in that's going to unnecessarily wind you up. There are good reasons to get angry. There are good reasons to get sad but there's a lot of crap on social media and the most effective way to maintain your sanity is to just, you know, mute people, block people, move on...not them drag you down into their swamp, you know?

ZAK: Not them drag them down into their swamp. That's really good. Why are we diving into other people's swamps voluntarily? There's no reason to do that. There is the promise of social media that you can learn about divergent points-of-view and stuff and this isn't necessarily what you're talking about. What's the criteria for, if I'm gonna go onto Twitter today and mute the swamp people. What am I looking for?

ERIC: Yeah, I think it is really important to distinguish between, I disagree with this and this should be muted. It's not a complete overlap. My main criterion is, is someone acting in bad faith? Are they saying something just to get a rise out of people? Are they saying something that I think they don't really mean? It's a gut call. I don't perfectly know for sure. If you spend enough time online, you can get a sense for when someone is earnestly trying to represent how they feel about something versus when someone is playing the game. Right? When they are playing the algorithm or when they're ramping the all caps or the exclamation points or the adjectives they use to really wind people up and get attention.

ZAK: And now after having done this for several years now and ramped up over the last year, how do you describe the difference in your spirit now that you've done this?

ERIC: Oh my gosh. It's so much better to really be taking control. I do think that there should be more more intentional proactive efforts made on the part of Twitter and Youtube and Facebook and other platforms to let everyone have a saner make it easier and more transparent of how to use these tools, how to mute people but as someone who has dove into the settings and taught myself how to us them I do feel so much happier when I go online. To your point earlier when you're talking about the difference between what you disagree with versus what you're muting...I don't think people should be getting all of their news, all their information from social media. I think that a healthy news diet comes from all sorts of places and not just online, not just any one website or social app but the reality is that we spend a lot of our time on these apps. This is how, especially during the pandemic, a lot of us have been doing our socializing is just hanging out on these apps and so I think, you know, the more control you can exert over it, it really does have a profound impact on your sanity, your happiness. At least that's what I've found. It really works for me.

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