Today is a big day. Millions of people will vote in elections for everything from Township Clerk to President of the United States, and everything in between. It's obviously not the first election we've had as a country, and it isn't even the most precarious, though it's easy to get that sense. Mostly that comes from the constant stream of incoming information mixed with a not-so-healthy dose of misinformation and politics on cable news and social media. Especially the latter.
Which is why today, I encourage you to do two things: If you haven't already, put on a mask and go vote. Then turn off social media. Seriously, your day will go much better. You only have control over one thing during this election--your own vote. Once you've done that, the rest of it--for good or for bad--will happen whether you stress about it or not, so just don't.
Instead, do this:
Delete Them from Your Phone
If you spend a lot of time on social media, especially Twitter, it's probably best to simply remove the apps from your phone altogether. On an iPhone, long-press on the app, select Remove App, and then Delete App.
If you select "Remove from Home Screen," the app will still live in your App Library. Normally that's great, but today you should just delete it. Before you have an anxiety attack, you can get them back later by visiting the App Store and re-downloading them (though we'll leave whether you actually should for another conversation).
Mute Sensitive Subjects
If, for whatever reason, deleting the apps from your phone isn't an option, the next best thing is to mute keywords or accounts. When you do, Twitter will "remote these Tweets from your notifications tab, push notifications, email notifications, home timeline, and from replies to Tweets." Basically, you won't see them unless you specifically search for them, which you shouldn't do--or what's the point?
Restrict Replies to Your Posts
If you just have to use social media for work, you can still avoid a lot of headaches by taking advantage of a few of Twitter's newer tools. For example, you can limit the people who are able to reply to your post to either everyone, people you follow, or only the people you mention in the tweet. If you're going to Tweet on Election Day, I highly recommend you avail yourself of this feature.
You can also do the same type of thing on Facebook by setting who can view your post at all. If you really must post a photo of your "I Voted" sticker but don't want to have a contentious conversation about politics, choose your audience wisely.
Get Back to Work
Finally, voting is important, but once you've done it, it's time to get back to work. Your employees and--for that matter--your family is counting on you to do just that. Even if you've given your company the day off to vote, there are a lot of productive things you can do with your time today that don't involve doom-scrolling through your Twitter feed. That, by the way, is always true.
That isn't to say your vote isn't consequential--it absolutely is, regardless of what you believe or who you vote for. The point is that it isn't the only thing you have to do today, and the people in your life who are counting on you will appreciate knowing that they still can once the election is over.