Although it seems like we’ve been trapped in this endless stream of attack ads, memes made by 60-year-olds and creepily-titled emails asking for campaign donations, we haven’t even made it to the first primary of the 2016 election yet. Election season has turned into election years.
I’m so sorry if I’m the one to break it to you, but we have about eight more months of this nonsense before we can even eat the election night pizza. Fear not, because you too can survive the rest of this election season with pride and your mind just as intact as before. All it takes is a little faith, trust, and some technological savvy.
Set up Email Folders: If you’re like me and have signed petitions, begged for free bumper stickers, have attended a campaign event or simply thought the name of a candidate, chances are you get the constant stream of emails. With email subject lines that are so similar to a booty-call they should be blocked by spam filters and the constant communication on par with a jilted ex, they can be super exhausting. The easiest way is to get rid of it is to unsubscribe. But, if you’re waiting on links to get tickets to a rally, interested in what they have to say, or just like that little feeling of glee you get when the email comes in “from: Hillary Clinton,” do yourself a favor and set up a gmail filter that will put them all in the same folder. That way you can look through them when you want to and ignore them when you don’t.
Unfollow those toxic people: There are plenty of people who post about politics on Facebook. There’s your informed classmate who is just baffled by the stupidity of our election system, there’s your crazy aunt who is sharing articles about how Obama is a lizard person and conspired with Elvis to cause the bombing of Pearl Harbor (Think about it! Totally makes sense) and there’s the webpages you follow that post articles about the actual issues. You don’t have to delete these people forever because you may have to face them in real life or they may post relatively normal things any other time of the year. Unfollowing them on Facebook allows you to keep up appearances, but engage with them when you want. Also, you can block certain sites from your newsfeed, so if you know your aunt posts tons for a conspiracy theory blog, you can feel free to banish that crap from your newsfeed instead.
Chrome Extensions: From the wacky to the serious, if you use Chrome as your browser, you can make this election tons more bearable for yourself. For Harry Potter fans/people not super into bigotry, there is the infamous Chrome filter that turns all mentions of Donald Trump’s name into Voldemort. You can take it one step further with this Chrome filter than changes every mention of a presidential candidate’s name and changes it to something gross. Or, simply use this filter to replace all of their names with the poop emoji. And, if you’ve simply had enough all together, this Chrome extension will block out all election news.
Newsletters: If you actually care about the election, it can be even trickier to stay sane. Wanting to keep yourself informed and going overboard reading coverage, Facebook comments and more can put yourself in a seriously bad mental state. Try reading newsletters like The Skimm or using the Apple News App to help you stay in the know without spending hours arguing about whether or not Ted Cruz should be eligible to run in this election.
Laugh it off: Whether this means positing that stupid article about Marco Rubio’s shoes or playing the debate drinking game with your roommates, it’s important to have a sense of humor. This may be one of the most important elections in a while, but it doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy the ride.
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