LOTS of people right now think Facebook is damaging them, making them crazier, or impacting them in a negative way. I’ve heard lots of people talk about deleting the app, or actually going ahead and doing it.
And this makes perfect sense. If something is bringing you more harm than good, get rid of it.
But WHY are people hating their time on Facebook? It’s not Facebook itself. The app works rather well.
It’s the people.
But more specifically, it’s the people you don’t want to hear from — the conversations you don’t want to see or be tempted to engage in. Conversations you were exposed to randomly that were never intended for you to see.
But how did they end up there? You probably have hundreds, if not thousands, of friends on Facebook. But you only see posts regularly from maybe 50 of them. You didn’t pick those 50. Facebook did. It did its best based on what you engaged with, but it still chose on your behalf. Because it knows there’s no way you can keep up with a chronological stream of hundreds or thousands of people posting every day.
But, ultimately, you’re in control of what you see on Facebook. More importantly, you are in control of who you see it from.
Many have improved their experience by unfollowing select bad offenders, and this is great, but Facebook is still deciding everything else you see.
I have a friend who unfollowed every single person besides his wife. His newsfeed is exclusively posts from her. Because that’s what he wanted to see. This is amazing.
He gave me the idea. Why don’t WE choose, consciously, who we care about enough to follow? Instead of letting Facebook choose, why not decide for ourselves?
If you are sick of Facebook, or you think it’s hurting your life, or you’re thinking about getting rid of it, or you just think you want a better experience, try this: without Facebook’s help, make a list of 5, 10, 20 or so people — the number is up to you, but try to pick a number to stick to — then go to Facebook, go to Settings, go to Newsfeed, and choose “See First” for that list. After that, whenever you see a post from somebody not on the list, unfollow them. And if you want, you can get a jump on it and unfollow a bunch of people right off the bat from the settings, but if you do it consistently from your newsfeed, it won’t be long until you’ll see the words, pictures, and videos only from the people you enjoy interacting with and spending time with. You will guarantee a positive Facebook experience. If someone from outside the list wants you to see something, they will have to send it to you directly.
This works great, because most of the stuff you don’t want to see is posted by people you didn’t want to hear from, and they did not post it with you as the intended audience. So, if it wasn’t for you, why not cut it out?
If you are worried about people being offended that you didn’t notice whatever they posted, you could even make an announcement:
“I have decided to Unfollow everyone except my mom, Eric, and cat memes. I don’t want to see anything not intended specifically for me randomly or by chance anymore. If you’d like me to see something you are sharing on Facebook, you will have to share it with me specifically, otherwise I won’t be able to see it.”
I’m currently trying this out, and I’ve been really surprised by the results. I think the impact might be larger than you think. Give it a shot, and let me know how it goes for you.
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