Problems have been discussed and shared thoroughly, now let’s talk about solutions.
We are all aware that this loud and TRP-hungry media is biased, toxic, and ultimately, harmful for our mental peace. I’ve conversed with a lot of friends and people who have been suffering from restlessness and helplessness after being subjected to this kind of news. Another problem is watching our loved ones being misguided by these misleading news portals. Consumption of such news causes angst and diverts the attention of the masses from real topics. More than that, it attacks our mental peace and causes stress.
So, here are a few solutions that can help you stay away from fake news, make your social media feed a better place, and improve your mental state. Take these small steps and reduce your mental stress, NOW.
Instagram: Report and block, and make others do it too (more by DMing, less by stories). Whenever you come across a news report by a news channel or a self-proclaimed news channel, or even memes that share any information that harms your mental health, report and block them instantly, and after reading this post report all the well-known media portals for creating and marketing all this mess which we have to fight today. (Stay away from Arnab memes for a while as well because his face might give you anxiety!)
Youtube: A bright thumbnail appears, with RHEA, KANGANA, PAKISTAN, etc. stamped on it and you feel an irresistible desire to check it and or write a criticizing comment or press dislike. STOP RIGHT THERE! Press the three dots button next to the thumbnail, select the “not interested” option and go, watch Filtercopy, or dog videos. Whenever such suggestions come, repeat that and slowly, YouTube will understand you don’t want them anymore. YouTube serves you what you see, so tell him you do not want to see a barking anchor anymore.
Family and TV: you’re scrolling Instagram and hear a loud noise of a reporter saying “KANGANA KO INSAAF” (Justice for Kangana), “SECULAR GANG”, “SAAZISH” (Conspiracy) from your family’s TV. Don’t go there and mute the TV. Chances being you might receive a slap from your mom or dad! So, get your earphones at that moment and after a while, beg your family to not watch that channel again because it is spreading rumours. Beg, beg, and beg, and if nothing works, “Aapko meri Kasam” (Do it for me) will definitely work.
WhatsApp: Ask your parents if you can use their mobile for WiFi hotspot or whatever. Delete all the crap from their galleries, check their WhatsApp, mute the status of people sharing such videos. You can block a few contacts as well who sent long conspiracy theories to your parents and leave the phones. Being Bond is better than being a Rebel getting beaten by a chappal (Shoe). Do that for your WhatsApp as well. You can also make a separate group for you and your family (no relatives) where you can share some genuine unbiased news.
Facebook: Unfriend everyone who shares such news and propaganda, and if you can’t, just unfollow them. I’ve done it myself and believe me, it works. I’ve unfollowed almost 100 friends out of my 500 and it has made my feed happier and better. (You know who you are now if I haven’t liked your post in months)
Twitter: If you want a happier mental state, don’t install twitter. If you still need it, SHAMELESSLY use it as a digital dustbin of thoughts. Don’t read anything over there, Just go, tweet your heart out and come back. Twitter is meant for – Suno kisi ki nahi, kaho apne dil ki (Roughly translates to: Don’t listen to anyone, spill your heart out.)
Follow good news channels and news resources which show real news. Denial and escapism aren’t going to alter the cruel realities and no matter what ideology you believe in, you deserve news and information about what actually is happening in the nation. Follow good channels where you find the news is worth your time and provides valuable information to you, unfollow if you find them biased. Believe me, when I say it, “Good journalism isn’t dead” because that’s how you know that the GDP is falling and climate change is happening. Follow such portals and do not let the good journalism die. They are vulnerable without your support so share their content (fact check everything before sharing).
Versions of Tiktok: Why the hell are you using such apps! Go, watch F.R.I.E.N.D.S. or Tarak Mehta ka Ooltah Chashma instead!