“How to Use (or Not Use) Social Media During the 2020 Election”

From the WSJ’s excellent technology writer, Johanna Stern:

The first rule of election social media is: You do not use election social media. We should all take the occasional social-media break in our lives—right now’s a great time.

My colleague Christopher Mims inspired me to go this somewhat extreme route. He has entered into a friendly bet to stay off social media until Nov. 16. I’m planning to stay off for the next few days.

There are a couple of reasons for my decision. First, doomscrolling. The algorithms have been designed to keep us hooked and in times of high, collective national anxiety I can’t look away. Not even with the help of screen and app timers that warn me when my time’s almost up.

Second, even I have fallen for a manipulated video and a tweet with news that proved not to be true. In the next few days, where unvetted news will be moving faster, why even put myself in that situation? Luckily, there are reputable news outlets that can give us factual, up-to-the-minute information—and you’re already reading the best one right now…

Don’t share

OK, so if you can’t possibly leave behind 5,000 of your closest friends while the fate of our nation hangs in the balance, I urge you at least to stop sharing.

Sure, the platforms themselves have rolled out tools to try to prevent you from sharing misleading and inaccurate information. But why even take the risk right now? What does your link and meme sharing really do? Get you a few more likes? Finally change Cousin Fred’s mind?

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