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How to have a healthy relationship with social media

Podcast wizard Tim Ferriss knows a thing or two about managing social media and has no qualms about blocking trolls.

In a recent podcast, the author of the The 4-Hour Workweek discusses his relationship with social media, how he handles an overwhelming amount of information and why his phone stays on flight mode for most of the day. 

Keep in mind that these tips come from a man who has over 1.5 million Twitter followers, 713,000 Instagram followers and whose Facebook page has 892,000 likes. 

First of all, Ferriss leaves his phone on flight mode for 80 per cent of the day. It stays this way from dinner time, all through the night and during his morning routine, which usually involves a mix of journalling, meditation and exercise. 

Ferriss is also selective about what notifications he receives. For example, he has no notifications for email, news sites or social media as he wants to be able to choose when and how he interacts with phone. 

His second tip for managing social media is about online attacks. Quite simply, Ferriss doesn't engage with those out to provoke him. However, if he does send a retort, he's found that this only makes him feel inclined to continue responding. So best not to respond to online attacks in the first place. 

Interestingly, Ferriss has different opinions about different social media channels, which he describes as "different types of neighbourhoods". For example, he believes Twitter is "the most poisonous", describing it as "a street that you walk down and people are throwing potted plants at your head for no reason."

Facebook, on the other hand, Ferriss finds significantly better while Instagram is "a much, much friendlier environment" where he is far more likely to read the bulk of comments on a particular post. 

The podcaster also has no problem with muting or blocking people: "If someone comes to my profile and my post and starts berating me, I view that as them coming into my house, putting their feet on my dinner table and spitting on the floor. They are not invited back. I routinely block and mute."

Finally, if he feels agitated or reactive and combative, Ferriss thinks very carefully before going on social media. Particularly at night. He finds it best to avoid social media before bed for a better night's sleep.

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“Kindness is the language that the deaf can hear and the blind can see.” – Mark Twain