Just lately I’ve heard more than a few people talking about pruning their Facebook friends lists, being tired of Facebook, feeling overwhelmed by Facebook, or wanting to quit Facebook. When I ask why (usually on Facebook), I hear that there’s just too much drama, too much to keep up with, too many pages, too many updates, too much garbage… In short, there’s just too much Facebook.
Fortunately, that’s pretty easy to fix. Let’s take a look at four quick ways to make Facebook the underwhelming experience it deserves to be.
1) Friends Lists
If you’ve added everyone you know (or knew) in high school, every Facebook creeper who wants to see your bikini pics, all the strangers you met playing Facebook games and every mom and dad from the PTA and your kids’ playgroups, then at this point, you’ve probably got a pretty unwieldy list of “friends.” Add that to the pages you liked (or that Facebook liked for you while you weren’t paying attention, and yes, that actually happened), and you’ve got a veritable flood of garbage junking up your home newsfeed. You need to sort that into some custom Friends Lists.
And by all means, feel free to just not include a ton of people and pages on those those lists. Only put people and pages in your lists if you actually want to hear from them.
I linked to this last week, but I’m going to link it again because Friends Lists solve a lot of annoying problems on Facebook: Mashable’s Complete Guide to Facebook Lists.
2) The “Hide” Feature
Facebook lets you “hide” people from your home newsfeed, or stop them from showing up there. I use this feature liberally. Yes, on you. And you too.
You can find the “hide” feature by positioning your mouse cursor over any given entry on your newsfeed (see the above image). A teeny little white box with a light gray down arrow will become visible in the upper right corner of that entry. Click that for a menu of options that will include “hide.” Once you click “hide,” you’ll get an option to adjust what you see from that particular person. You can completely unfollow them, which will leave them “friended” but not show you any of their posts in your newsfeed, or adjust which posts you’re seeing from them. You can also head over to each friend’s profile page individually and do this by hovering on the “friends” button on the right side of their profile, just under their cover image.
3) The Restricted List
One of the annoying things about Facebook is that you can hide folks from your newsfeed, but it can be tricky to hide yourself from them. One easy way to do that is the Restricted List. Simply set your default privacy to “friends” (see the .gif below), add the people you don’t want to hear from to the Restricted List (see Mashable’s guide), and enjoy never hearing from them again. Even better, since people on your restricted list will only see public posts, they won’t even know they’re missing out on anything. This is a great way to deal with all those leftover Farmville and MafiaWars friends, and other casual acquaintances.
4) When All Else Fails…
Seriously. I drop the ban hammer at the slightest provocation, on any of my personal social networks. Every three to six months I prune out all the boring pages I’ve followed, unfriend people I’m just not clicking with, etc.
These are your networks. You’re here to enjoy yourself. If someone’s made a pest of themselves, or if Facebook (or any other platform) is getting to be a bit too much, get rid of the pests and weed out the junk pages. You probably have to put up with enough pesty junk in real life already – you certainly don’t need to deal with it when you’re trying to kill some time playing Words with Friends with your Grandma, right?