How to Tame Your Facebook Feed

Facebook can be such a monster to tame! You can sit down to catch up on a few posts and get up two hours later not even knowing time has passed. Like most things, it can be useful and fun, or it can infringe upon all of the other things we need to be doing in life.

Facebook goes through lots of changes over time, and every time it does you can almost hear the collective groans and expressions of frustration from all of the users. That’s because we’ve come to depend on Facebook for so many things … birthday reminders … keeping up with old friends and family … participating in games… whatever. All of these things can clog up your Facebook newsfeed and make it nearly impossible to keep up with those who are nearest and dearest. We all have a ton of “friends” on Facebook that we barely know. So, here are some ways to tame that Facebook feed.

1. Utilize Friend Lists. You can select any number of friends and place them in their own list. For example I have a FAMILY list – only family members there. When I click on FAMILY, I only see the posts from family members. HERE is a great post with step by step instructions as to how to do this.

2. Block Games You Do Not Play. Not everyone enjoys the games on Facebook. If you get a game notice you can run your cursor up to the top right corner of that post and click the x. You will have a chance to block the game from now on. You shouldn’t see any more posts from THAT GAME. You will have to do this every time a new game finds its way into your timeline.

3. Unfriend Companies. Every company worth it’s salt has a Facebook presence, and they all want you to “like” their pages. But that means that your news feed could become cluttered with advertisements or silly questions trying to generate interest. If you really like a company, then  you won’t mind seeing these. For me, Facebook time is not time for companies to sell me their products. I still “like” some ministries and companies that mean a lot to me. But Little Debbie, M&Ms, and some others have been unfriended.

4. Make a Decision. Most status updates are generic in nature…just posted ‘out there’ for people to read. They are not directed at you specifically. If you are one of the people who have a ton of “friends” but can’t keep up with all the status updates, you can decide which ones you want to see, and eliminate the rest. There are two strategies here.

*Subscribe/Unsubscribe. Everyone has the opportunity to allow others to “subscribe” to their status updates. HERE is a post about how to do that. In fact, I would guess that you are subscribed to some on your friendlist already.

*Partial Unsubscribe. When you go to your friend’s timeline, in the upper right corner under the picture there is a box that says “Subscribed”. If you run your cursor over that a dropdown box appears. The first section asks you how many updates you want from that friend – all of them, some of them, or only important ones. I’m not sure how they determine which ones are important, but this does give you an opportunity to cool someone’s posts down a bit (at least, as they appear on your news feed). You can also choose which kinds of status updates you want to see…Life Events, Status Updates, Photos,  Games, Comments and Likes, Music and Videos, and other activity. If it is your mate or a close friend, you might want to check all of those. If it is someone you barely know, you might want to uncheck all of them. Sometimes you are given the option to “unsubscribe” – which means you won’t see any of their status updates at all – but you can still communicate directly.

5. Strategy. Here’s what I did. For a few days when on Facebook I would click on my Friends as they posted. I’d make a decision about how much I wanted to see from them and carry it out using the above steps. I still wanted to maintain friendship with a lot of people that I didn’t necessarily want to see posts from. The partial unsubscribe allowed me to not only eliminate a ton of posts, but also the comments and ‘likes’ coming across the Ticker.

I guess it sounds cold to say that I don’t want to see every status update from every person in my friend list. But I have 811 people in that list. I can’t possibly keep up with all of them. This strategy allowed me, in a couple of days, to tame my news feed and ticker,  and to see the posts I really wanted to see. By not “Unfriending” people, I could still see any post that contained my name or that directly addressed me. So, we’re not out of touch.

I hope that helps you make your Facebook experience a little less frantic, and a lot easier. It was so effective for me that I kept refreshing my page one day, thinking something was wrong. No, nothing wrong. I just gained control of the beast, that’s all!

~John

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