Obviously, I cant fix everything about Facebook that irritates the user base. I have a job, and a wife, and a life. Trying to do that would probably be the end of all of those things. But, I can offer a couple of things I’ve learned about making Facebook work a little better for me.
One, there was a time when a Page owner could “like” other pages as the page instead of themselves, and when said page owner went to view their own page their would be a link to the “Pages Feed”, a timeline of posts from those pages that you are following as your page.
For reasons unbeknownst to me, Facebook has made that link disappear, but the actually feed still exists. You just have to know how to find it. It’s actually pretty simple once you know. That feed still exists at facebook.com/YourPageName/pages_feed/
So, for example, the pages feed for my Facebook page related to this blog is https://www.facebook.com/ManyFacesOfMikeMcBride/pages_feed/
Secondly, there is the ever present issue of what your friends share on Facebook. Let’s face it, there’s no avoiding some of the more polarizing opinions of your friends and contacts, no matter how hard you try. But, you can take advantage of some of the tools Facebook provides to clean things up a bit. On any post, there’s the three little dots icon in the upper right hand corner. Clicking on it will show you the available tools. Here, we have a post that someone I know shared from the Aunty Acid Facebook Page.
The first set of options under that menu allows me to save the post, hide the post, snooze the source of the post, or hide everything from that source.
Underneath that, not in the screenshot to protect my friend’s name, you also have the option to snooze that friend for 30 days or unfollow them completely.
Let’s think about the options here when you see a particularly eye-rolling share.
- Is this person someone I even want to follow any more? – We’ve all connected with some friends from way back who turned out to be a little loud in their views about things and wound up regretting the connection. If they aren’t bringing anything of value, there’s no shame in not following them any longer. It’s cool, we get it. It’s not worth the mental health hit you take every time they show up in your feed.
- Is this someone you normally do value keeping in touch with, but maybe want to drop during a particular news cycle? – Snoozing is a great way to just get a break from the constant barrage of shares that make FB less fun right now, even though you don’t want to completely lose touch. Think, for example, of snoozing a few Patriots fans this week, right?
- Are they sharing something from a Facebook page that you know you never want to see again? – We all also have that one friend, the one with the adorable baby, or the great sense of humor, who somehow also likes to share each and every conspiracy theory they catch from their favorite conspiracy source. Think about leaving the person alone, but blocking, or snoozing, the page they shared it from. I’ve made a habit out of using this tool. I’ve gone the Hide route on a number of fringe political pages, on both sides of the political aisle. Because I’m not here for the politics. So that keeps a lot of the more vitriolic posts out of my feed and let’s me focus on connecting with people without all of that.
- Lastly, if none of this fits, or if they are posting a link to something outside of Facebook, or just typing in text that you wish you didn’t have to see, you could choose the Hide Post function. This one isn’t as strong as the other options, but it can nudge the algorithm a little bit. It sends the message to the algorithm that this is the kind of thing you don’t really have much use for, and it should make it less of a priority.
And, yes, at the very bottom of the menu there will also be a place to report the post for the most egregious types of content. I haven’t made much use of that, I don’t tend to follow people who would post that kind of thing, but it’s there.
Let’s be honest here. Part of the reason Facebook makes us all a little crazy is our own fault. We haven’t always been very selective about who we follow and now we’re kind of stuck with all of it in our feeds. In light of that, it’s high time many of us starting looking at things more selectively, and while they are far from perfect, Facebook has provided us with some tools to do just that. Take advantage of that, and save yourself some anger.
What Facebook tips would you recommend that you don’t think people use enough?