Avoid Valentine’s Day’s virtual PDA with these useful hacks

One of the most polarizing holidays is knocking on our door. And with habit-dominating timesucks like Facebook—which has a 1.59 billion monthly active user base—we can’t pretend Valentine’s Day doesn’t exist anymore.

Last year, Facebook saw 580,000 engagements published as life events from Feb. 14 to Feb. 20,  a rep for Facebook IQ, the social media giant’s stats and data center, told the Daily Dot. Of those engagements, 110,000 occurred on Valentine’s Day alone. If you’re anything like us, it might feel as if you knew all 110,000 of them. 

It can seem like there’s no way to avoid seeing other people’s happy relationships shoved in your face, but there’s always a way—multiple ways, in fact. Control how much you want to feel the love (or dodge the mush) on Facebook next week with these tips:

If Valentine’s Day isn’t your thing, you can:

  • Curate your feed to see less love by going to Facebook’s Updated Controls for News Feed. There you’ll be able to select friends and Pages to see, find new Pages to connect with, and select which friends and Pages to follow or unfollow. 
  • When you change your relationships status to “Single,” choose the option to “Take A Break” from seeing updates about your ex. 
  • Edit your ad preferences to keep those teddy bears and chocolates out of sight.
  • Resist the temptation to see what your ex is up to these days. That’s right. You can actually limit how much you see from former partners without having to unfriend or block them. Likewise, you can also control if a former partner can see photos, videos, or status updates you share. 

You can also take advantage of apps intended to limit Web distractions by using them to keep you away from all the virtual PDA:

SelfControl is a free Mac application that helps you block specific websites for up to 24 hours. No matter how tempted you are to check on what your ex-boyfriend is up to these days, the app will adamantly shut you out—even if you restart your computer or delete the app. If you’re feeling extreme, block access to the Internet altogether with Freedom.

If you’re into the Singles Awareness Day angle, join the #AntiValentinesDay train on Twitter to trash talk the holiday as much as your heart desires. 

But if you’re into Valentine’s Day, you can:

  • Set a temporary profile picture of you and your boo, BFF, or anyone in-between decorated with Valentine’s Day sticker packs, text, and filters. The feature goes away by itself come Feb. 15.  
  • Use the live video recording feature to serenade your Valentine for as few or as many people to see.
  • Make a collage of your favorite memories with your loved ones.

And if you’re ready to take it to that next virtual level, you can always settle on that classic Facebook feature and make your relationship status Facebook official

Photo via Jackie/Flickr (CC BY 2.0)

Molly Stier

Molly Stier

Molly Stier is the Real-Time Social Editor at the Daily Dot, where she previously covered politics, lifestyle, entertainment, and technology. Her work has also appeared in The Nation magazine.