Sep 072015 1 Response

How to Make Facebook Enjoyable

At its best, Facebook is great.

  • It’s a good place to meet new people.
  • It’s a wonderful source of useful information.
  • It shrinks the world allowing relationships to endure despite geographical separation.
  • It connects people with similar passions or beliefs.

How many friends from my childhood have I reconnected with over the past few years?

How many friends have I stayed connected with despite living thousands of miles away?

How many new friends have I made because of a common connection or similar cause?

Facebook is great. (See: Seven Proverbs for Facebook)

Except when it’s not.

At its worst, Facebook is awful.

  • It’s filled with political rants.
  • It’s overrun with poor sales pitches.
  • It’s a primary source for misleading information.
  • It’s often a colossal waste of time.

How often does a friend’s post make you want to scream?

How many people can share an article before realizing it’s false?

How frustrating is it to comment on someone’s post only to realize it does no good?

Facebook is great and it is awful. But thankfully there are a few little tricks we can use to make it more enjoyable. (See: Stop Breaking the Ninth Commandment on Facebook)

Why Your News Feed is Filled with People You Hate

Ironically, we often make Facebook worse than it has to be. I’m not talking about making dumb posts (although if we would post better, Facebook would be better). I’m talking about the common lack of understanding of how Facebook works.

Consider the common approach: A friend posts something we don’t like–maybe it’s a political opinion we believe is wrong, or it’s a post with multiple grammatical mistakes (their, they’re, there), or it’s just something that makes us mad. So we click on it, read other comments, or even  comment on it ourselves to show our opinion or displeasure.

But do you know what Facebook does in response to our engagement with a post (either a click, comment, or share)? Their algorithm takes our interaction as a desire to see more things from the person. So the next time they post, Facebook makes it more likely for us to see what they have posted. Chances are, it will be something we don’t like. If we comment again, Facebook thinks we love what they are posting so it shows us more of their posts.

It becomes a cycle toward Facebook hell. (See: Don’t Be a Facebook Piranha)

If the only time you interact on Facebook is with the things you do not like, your news feed will quickly be filled with things you hate.

Many people are unknowingly creating a newsfeed they dislike.

But it doesn’t have to be this way.

How to Make Facebook More Enjoyable

There are two key steps to make Facebook more enjoyable.

First, realize every interaction you make is a signal to Facebook of what you want to see. Positive or negative, Facebook will reward your information by showing that person more.

You must use interactions like relationship currency. Only spend money on those people or things you want to see more of. Every time you are tempted to correct someone’s grammar, fight someone’s political perspective, troll others’ comments on a post, or comment on someone’s post you really don’t like, you must ask yourself: Is this one comment worth seeing more from this person?

If the answer is ‘yes,’ then click or comment. But if the answer is ‘no,’ refuse to interact and over time the person will slowly disappear from your feed. (See: Like, What if Facebook is Right?)

Second, if someone is really irritating to you, use the hide feature. You can tell Facebook you don’t want to see the posts from someone without that person every knowing it. They will see you are still friends and never know you have hidden (or “unfollowed”) them. (See: Controlling What You See In Your Newsfeed).

You are not obligated to be friends with someone on Facebook. It is your page and you can do with it whatever you wish. However, many people are like me and the idea of blocking someone or unfriending them is scary. I can never imagine unfriending someone I know. But I do regularly hide people because I want to have a different Facebook experience than what they offer.

As friends, they can still see my posts; I can view their page; we can comment to each other; and we can send private messages to one another. But on a daily basis, I do not see what they are posting. My guess is that many people have hidden me because they don’t want to see my blog. That’s their right. (See: What Facebook Gets Horribly Wrong)

The hide feature is a great way to stay friends without losing your mind.

Many people have no idea how much control they have over what they see on Facebook. It’s not nearly as much as I would like, but it is far more than many realize. Use Facebook wisely and it will become more enjoyable.

If you could make one change to Facebook, what would it be?


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