Father’s Day: adding digital filters for life’s triggering days

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With Father’s Day around the corner and our screen time at higher levels than ever during lockdown, it can be especially trying when we’re bombarded with constant reminders of those dreaded days.

We’ve compiled a few simple ways to minimise triggering topics/dates in your digital life.

  1. Adding filters to your email inbox to move triggering emails elsewhere, before you see them
  2. How to remove yourself from advertising from gift/card companies promoting Father’s Day

We’re sure there are more – if you have anything to add here, please let us know by emailing hello@letstalkaboutloss.org!

Outlook: how to add a custom “rule” to your inbox

Blocking or sorting certain content in Outlook is called a “rule”. This can be found in your inbox settings.

If you’re struggling to find this, head to the help section within Outlook and search “rule” → click “use inbox rules in outlook.com”.


Once you have Email > Settings > Rules open, you can specify the name, conditions and actions for your rule.


We’ve labelled this “Father’s Day” so it’s easily identifiable to us.

  1. “I’m on the To line” – The first condition of our rule is that the email is addressed to us, i.e. “I’m on the To line”. You might not want to include this. This would mean that any email in your inbox will have your rule applied to it, whether or not it’s directly addressed to you or not.
  2. Subject or body includes: fathers, father’s, father’s day, fathers day – This means that any part of any email which is addressed to me which contains any or all of the above keywords will have my action or “rule” automatically applied to it.

Think carefully about what you want here. In our example, our rule is deleting all emails which contain the word fathers. You might not want your rule to be this broad. It might be the case, for example, that you only want emails which have ‘fathers’ or ‘father’s day’ in the subject line (and not the entire email) to be sorted. In this case, go back and change condition 1 to just “subject includes”.



We’ve simply selected “delete” – any and all emails meeting our conditions will be automatically deleted before we read them.

Alternatively, you could create a separate folder in your inbox for these emails to be redirected to instead, so that you can check through for anything you might actually want to read that the rule picks up.

Gmail: Adding a filter to your inbox

1. Click “Settings”

2. Under “filters and blocked addresses” click “create new filter”


3. Enter your keywords e.g. father’s day in “has the words” and “subject” (if you want this to be included in your filter)


4. Click “create filter” and select what action you’d like taken on emails that are filtered.
We’ve selected “delete” but you might want to move them to a new separate folder instead, so that you can check through the emails first.


Reducing sensitive adverts from your timeline

You’re having an okay day, scrolling through friends’ Instagram stories, and out of nowhere comes a glaring reminder of your loss – a Father’s/Mother’s Day advert, screeching at you to make your dead parent smile next Sunday…

This one’s a bit more tricky, and we’re open to suggestions on what more can be done to reduce this from happening.

To begin with, you can ask advertisers to remove you from their targeting pools on social media ads.


If you’ve seen an advert you don’t like, it’s your lawful right under GDPR to not see this again should you not wish to. Get in touch with the company and ask either to be removed from all adverts under that topic, or all advertising altogether if you prefer. Don’t forget to include the email address associated with your account, the advertiser will need this.


We hope this blog post was helpful, and it can reduce a little the pain of triggering content around days like Father’s Day. Get in touch with us if you have any other ideas to share, we’d love to hear them!

Stephanie Nicola Miller