Filtering Out Politics in Feedbin
As you may have noticed, there’s a lot going on in the world right now (citation needed).
Covid-19 has affected everyone in unique and unforseen ways, and there’s no telling how long it will take for many (even most) of us to recover from this pandemic.
There’s also no telling how much longer this will go on. It could be weeks, it could be months, and it’s important to set good boundaries for yourself at a time like this. Prepare for the worst and hope for the best.
If you’re like me, you might have hit the covid-19 news a little hard at first, and you might be a little coronavirused out at this point. I have read studies and watched news clips and read charts at a much higher rate over the last two weeks, and frankly I need a break. For my own mental health, I need a break.
If this is you too, know that it's okay to take a break. Be kind to yourself. I personally need to focus on the things I control, rather than the things I do not. Despite much fear and anxiety over the last two weeks, not that much has changed, and I would guess that the world will still be here in two more weeks. So it’s a good time to take a break and breathe.
The problem is I don’t want to entirely unplug from news. Tech news, for instance, is a good diversion and brings me joy. I just want to, for a short period of time, avoid the political and health hysteria.
Luckily, we live in the 21st century, and we have tools for this. Twitter, for example, allows you to mute keywords. This is helpful to give yourself some time to recover.
If you use RSS, like I do, things are a little different. RSS has no algorithm, it shows you every article of every feed you give it. However, if you use Feedbin or Feedly, there is a way to continue with your regularly scheduled feeds while avoiding certain events. I happen to use Feedbin, and Feedbin gives you all the tools you need to custom-tailor your blog readings. (Feedly does too, as seen here)
Feedbin Actions #
I find political articles particularly odious at a time like this. A pandemic seems like a time when we should come together, we shouldn’t be taking cheap shots at our political opponents. I follow several tech blogs that have been doing this, whether they know it or not, and I’m tired of it.
So for now, let’s filter it out!
Feedbin has “Actions”, which allow you to either “star” articles automatically, or mark them as read. In this case we want the latter: if an article contains political or virus-related news, we can mark it as read. We can always go back and read them later if we want, but for now, I don’t want to have to see them.
If you have a Feedbin account, you can set up an action in your settings, under “Tools > Actions”. From here you can set up an action however you like.
You can make your search criteria as simple or as complex as you like. There is great documentation on your options for searching. My search term is going to look like this:
trump OR politics OR political OR conservatives OR conservative OR liberals OR liberal OR covid OR coronavirus OR covid-19
As you can see: no politics. After you add your search terms, you can select either specific feeds to apply this to, or specific tags. There are only a few bloggers I follow who write about politics and other things, so I selected them specifically.
After you do those two things, you can select “Mark it as read”. Use the “View Results” button to test your query and make sure you’re filtering the right things. Then press “Save” to finish.
Here’s how that looks for me:
And presto! You’re done. Feel free to disable or enable as your mental and physical health dictates. Stay well out there friends ❤️
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