Making Facebook Work for You and not You for Facebook


Any of you that have read my blog know how I feel about Facebook and that I quit it over 3 months ago. You can read my post about how I quit it and the process involved. It was a great experiment and a much needed opportunity to re-align with my values and my reasons for being on such a platform. I want to tell you what I have learnt and where this exercise has taken me.

The Reason for Leaving

Whilst Facebook’s initial inception was to allow you to keep in-touch with friends and to find out what was happening in your friends’ lives, it soon moved on from this simple requisite.
As the cult grew, so did friend lists. More and more people were added to the lists. From random people you met for 30 seconds on the bus, to parents of friends and many others that you didn’t want to be ‘friends’ with but felt obliged to accept their request at risk of offending someone. It then progressed onto pages and being hounded by businesses and teased with pointless competitions. Until finally it became an advertising behemoth that just loves shoving unnecessary and useless information in your face every-time you log in.

Friends are Important

After 3 months, I realized how much I could achieve when my time was spent elsewhere. It was amazing and I really felt like I wasn’t missing anything.
On the odd occassion that I logged in for work reasons and I accidentally glanced at the first post in the newsfeed before I managed to click on the works’ page, I would be reminded at how useless certain posts were; “Oh I’m so tired” or “look at my new hat“.

(Side note: incase this WAS one of your statuses over the last 3 months these remarks I have made up, they do not relate to anyone. Although if it was, seriously, you should be using facebook in a more intentional way. You have the opportunity to change the world and influence many.)

Despite the confirmation of my disgust at many posts, it was apparent that I was missing my true friends.  Although we connected on occasion through other means, it wasn’t enough to satisfy. This is what spurred my return.

Returning on My Terms

I decided it was time to put facebook to work for me this time.

  • I logged back in and spent an hour or two streamlining, organizing, and setting up Facebook how I wanted it to be. I didn’t have to delete anyone, which also means not offending anyone, so that was a bonus.
  • I had to figure out who my true friends were, the ones I saw about town, the ones I’d see again, the people I care about the most, the ones who are a part of my offline world. All these people I placed into my ‘close friends‘ list.
  • Then I adjusted the ‘update types‘ so I only saw their specific updates. I wouldnt see the crap from any of their friends. I’d see no games nonsense, none of their comments or ‘likes’ on other people posts, just simply their statuses, photos, music and videos. Awesome, now we’re getting somewhere!

I then needed a ‘Family’ list.

I didn’t use the pre-existing Facebook Default Family List, because that notifies your family member that you’re adding them to that list and then Facebook might use that information creepily. Besides, I didn’t want them to know I was following them. So I made my own Family list.

I added all those family members that didn’t depress me or overwhelm me with boring utterances of their own self hatred or depression. I’m sorry, I care for you all, but I need to set my own intentions for the use of Facebook. If you want some support call me, you know where I am. It’s just not what I want to see on Facebook.

Sharing

Now these two main important lists have been created, I have the opportunity to only share to these two lists.

I set up the default sharing to only include these lists, so now I don’t bother anyone else other than the people that matter to me. To most people it appears that I don’t share anything.

I can always change the posts’ setting to ‘friends‘ or ‘public‘. This is something I will rarely do, unless I feel it is important to share to many.
So to all those people that are reading this that don’t see any facebook posts, I apologise and hope you can understand that I don’t dislike you in anyway, I’m just saving us both time and energy, so you can focus on the things that matter. You can still find me on Facebook and can contact me whenever you like. I haven’t disregarded you as a friend and it’s not that I don’t care. I hope you can deal with this minor Facebook rejection. It doesn’t mean I am rejecting you from my life, just Facebook, I hope your ego can cope!

I Love you!

Liked Pages

Now I had to sort out the pages I followed.

We often follow pages so we can win something or because someone recommended that page. Over time we realise that the page is useless to us, nothing they post is of interest and thus, we can either unfollow it, or simply do the same with regards a list.

I have created lists based on categories I am interested in.

  • DJ’s,
  • Music
  • Politics
  • Environment, that kind of stuff.

Depending then on what mood I am in when I log into facebook, or what my intention of logging in is, I can pick the list I want to check and then when I am done, I log out. Simple!

These lists keep me organised and my time on facebook limited down to a manageable and reasonable amount. I never find myself aimlessly scrolling through mountains of uninteresting or time wasting posts.

Video: How to set it up for you

I thought I’d throw together a quick video that shows you exactly how to set this up so that you too can benefit from a streamlined Facebook account.


I hope that I have inspired you to clean up your facebook and focus on your true friends. Have a great facebook experience each time you log in.

I would love to hear from anyone that has followed these guidelines and how it changed your experience. Did you find it decreased the time spent on facebook, or did it leave you feeling empty and disconnected? Let me know in the comments below.

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