5 on Friday: 5 Ways to Clean Up Your Facebook Feed

Spring officially starts this week, so it’s time to start spring cleaning. While scrubbing the windows and cleaning up the garden are important, you need to set aside time to clean up your digital life as well. Let’s start with the beast that is Facebook.

Facebook is a mess. If you’re like me, you don’t get all the updates from your friends. Not only that, but you’re more likely to get a silly meme that got a bunch of likes over relevant information. You may have liked a handful of pages, but don’t really get the updates from the smaller ones but get bombarded with information from major corporations. I know for me, it seems whatever algorithm Facebook uses is broken. But, we can find ways to work around that and at least be able to find some relevant information.

1) Clear Out Acquaintances – A friend of mine, Richard Stevens, posted the following status on Facebook yesterday:

“If you have a Facebook friend with a picture of a kid you’ve never met and a last name you’ve never heard of, you probably lost touch to the point you don’t need to be connected anymore.

If you never had a real conversation with someone but have 50 mutual friends, you went to high school together, and friended each other out of social network novelty, disconnect.

If you friended a bunch of your former lover’s friends when you were together and no longer hang with that social circle, disconnect. Exception: his/her friends were cooler than he/she was.

If all you had in common with someone was a part-time job unrelated to your field in college, you can disconnect.”

 I was trying to come up with a way to tell you to do basically this, but he worded it so simply and succinctly I had to quote him. Every post from one of these people you probably don’t really care about, pushes away a post from someone you do. I also really like Richard’s terminology here. You aren’t unfriending, you aren’t actually friends with these people. You’re disconnecting.

 2) Unlike Pages – You probably don’t even remember “liking” a brand’s page to get a coupon. But all those random “likes” help to decide what you see. Go through and clear them out. You might even see pages that you didn’t even know you “liked.” For example, I swear to you I never deliberately liked Wal-Mart. I effing hate Wal-Mart. But there they were, in my likes list. Must have been an errant click somewhere

3) Prioritize Updates – Now that you’ve gotten rid of the excess fluff you don’t need, fine tune what is left. Maybe you don’t want to disconnect from someone. But you’re tired of seeing the new 5-10 “funny” pictures they share every day. You can change the settings for what stories of theirs show in your feed. Likewise, you can also make sure you’re getting all the updates from people you really care about.

  1. Go to their page.

  2. Click “Friends.”

  3. Click “Settings” under “Show in News Feed.”

  4. Pick and choose what you want to see,  and with what frequency.
    Show Only Important

You can do something similar for pages. I am surrounded by creative, ambitious people. It’s fantastic. It also means I get all kinds of “please like my page” requests. And sometimes, their projects are just not something I’m interested in. I want to support them though, so I like the page anyway. I then set the updates not to show in my feed. Likewise, you want to make sure you are getting the updates from pages you are interested in.

  1. Go to the page.

  2. Click “Liked.”

  3. Make sure the “Show in Newsfeed” setting is how you want it.
    Show In News Feed

4) Create Interest Lists – Lists make all the data you get a bit more manageable. There are two types of lists, friends lists and interest lists. Interest lists are lists you can create that has people you follow, friends, and pages. You can even add pages you’ve removed from your newsfeed, so you can periodically check the updates even if you don’t want them all the time.

  1. Click “Interests.”

  2. Click “Add Interests.”

  3. Click “Create List.”

  4. Add what you want to it.

  5. Click “Next.”

  6. Set privacy. The default is public, so make sure you change it.

 You can also add lists to your “favorites” so they show further up on your menu, so you can find them easier. 

  1. Hover to the right of “Interests.”

  2. Click “More.”

  3. Click the pencil to edit.

  4. Click “Add to Favorites.”
    Add To Favories

5) Create Friends Lists – Friends Lists work much in the same way as interests lists. But with the added bonus you can share with only certain people if you want. Have a post about your epic pad funk? Tell just your team. But remember the first rule of the internet, if you don’t want it on the internet don’t put it on the internet. This is doubly true with Facebook. If you don’t want it on Facebook, don’t put it on Facebook. So use this more so you don’t overwhelm people who don’t care about certain updates. Not to hide things from your family.

These tips should have you somewhat straightened out and make Facebook a tad more useful for you. Just remember that now that you’re cleaned up, keep it that way. If you like a page, set the lists and priorities immediately. You don’t want to do this again next year.


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