Congratulations! The digital world has invited you to virtually attend Meghan Markle and Prince Harry's marriage this weekend.
Frankly, you don't give a damn. But the internet won't let you off the hook so easily. Your news feeds will be littered with the #RoyalFamily and #WhenHarryMetMeg musings unless you do some work to cinch off the firehose before the event begins.
Prepare your platforms, adjust your settings, download extensions, and escape the royal wedding with the following prudent suggestions. The event starts early Saturday morning in the US, so do it now. It's not too late!
Mute It on Twitter
Want to log on to Twitter and NOT have #PrinceHarry kidnap your feed? Simple. Locate your profile icon in the upper right corner of your Twitter homepage. Click on it and drop down to "Settings and Privacy."
On the Settings and Privacy page, go to the left and find the option labeled "Muted Words." When you mute words on Twitter, tweets containing those words will not appear in your notifications or timeline. You're able to mute one word, phrase, hashtag, or @username at a time. Start by muting "Royal Wedding 2018" and #RoyalWedding2018. Do the same for "Prince Harry," "Meghan Markle," "Harry and Meghan," and "Royal Family." You can adjust muting time from just 24 hours to one week to … forever! Make sure you choose the option to mute those words from everyone on Twitter, not just people you follow. That should wipe most royally love-addled suckers out.
Mute It on Facebook
Facebook doesn't allow you to mute specific words. You can mute specific people in your News Feed who are obsessed with the wedding and post about it a lot (go to Settings and select "Blocking"), which gets you part of the way there. For everything else wedding-related on Facebook, download the extension Social Fixer. Among other things, it will let you filter Facebook's News Feed based on keywords. This works in the browser, but not in Facebook's mobile app.
Mute It on Instagram
If an Instagram friend of yours is obsessing over the nuptials, you can unfollow them. Seems harsh, but that's the only way Instagram allows you to remove their posts completely from your timeline. Less harsh is muting their Stories, which Instagram does allow. Find their Story in your Stories feed, then tap and hold down on their profile image. Select mute. To unmute their Stories after the wedding, scroll allll the way to the left of your Stories feed. This is where your muted friends live, and you'll see the person's profile appear grayed out. Hold down their icon and select "unmute."
Mute It on Gmail
Head over to your Gmail, where you're bound to get spammed by wedding deets you really don't need to see. Go to settings in the top right corner of your inbox. From there, click on "Filters and Blocked Addresses." Here, you'll see an option to create a new filter. In the subject line, enter "Prince Harry." Next, Gmail will ask you what you want it to do with a message that comes through with "Prince Harry" in the subject line. Your best best is to "delete it." Don't worry: If you have a change of heart, you'll have 30 days to recover an email before it's automatically emptied from your digital trash can. You'll want to do the same thing with the words "Royal Wedding" and "Meghan Markle" by creating separate filters.
Mute It Everywhere Else
Try as you may, articles and headlines will still rope you into the royal family's festivities across your browser. It's nothing personal, but you may get annoyed by the very sight of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle's names on your screen. If you use Chrome, you're in luck. Download Word Replacer II, the Chrome Extension that allows you to replace any word that appears in your browser with any other word of your choosing. Once it's downloaded, go to Word Replacer's icon next to the search bar and hit Settings. On the left hand side of Settings, select "New."
This is where you'll start to feel like you're playing Mad Libs. In the two boxes that appear, enter the word you want to see go away and the word you'd like to replace it with. You might choose to replace "Royal" with "Popsicle" and "Wedding" with "Party." Or how about "Prince Harry" with "Queen Frog" and "Meghan Markle" with "Queen Toad." Select them one by one, and on the right side hit "Apply" to the selected words. Suddenly, the everybody's going bananas about some Popsicle Party hosted by amphibians. Now there's something you can get down with.
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