declutter your FaceBook wall

The easiest way to refine your FaceBook wall feed is to make sure you’re getting the updates you want and not the annoying ones you don’t.

But before you do anything, ask yourself, “How do I want to use Facebook?” Maybe you only want to add people you’re really friends with or maybe, like me, you’d rather use Facebook as your central place for networking, referencing and sharing information.

Whatever you decide, stick with it — not only will it help prevent future unfriending, it’ll also remind you who you’ve given permission to view which of your content.

Here are some ways to refine the view if you’ve chosen to use Facebook as more than ‘stay in touch with friends and family’ tool, in a semi-order of usefulness:

ORGANISE WITH FRIEND LISTS

Go to, Account > Edit Friends. In the upper-right, click ‘Create a List’. Enter the title of the list and select the friends you want to include. Repeat this for:  work friends, acquaintances, business contacts, bloggers and so on, as well as your friends and family members.

Pages you’ve ‘Liked’  are already in a separate list which makes Facebook a very handy custom RSS reader.

When you want to view posts from just your family members, work friends or high school buddies,  go back to your feed, click on ‘Most Recent’ and you’ll see your list(s) at the bottom of the drop-down.

FILTER POSTS BY CATEGORY

You can always chose what you see in a real-time view of your friend’s activities by changing the News Feed setting at the top of your wall.  Click ‘Most Recent’ and you’ll see further options to filter the feed by photos, status updates, links and more.

Bear in mind that ‘Most Recent’ will only show posts from people who  Facebook  calculates you interact with the most. All  friends and pages’ will show exactly that – Everyone.  In either case, you’ll be viewing all activities as they happen, which can get a little hectic.

The good news is, it’s a choice you can easily change as mood strikes you.

HIDE FRIENDS FROM THE FEED

Instead of unfriending someone because they put a damper on your Facebook experience with an influx of gems like,  “LOL I’m cracking up!”  or,  “I’m simply awesome! Jealous???”;  just hide that person from your News Feed.

Hover over an update from that person or page and click the “X” on the right side of the post. You can choose to hide just that post (rather pointless) or select “Hide all by Mr/Ms Obnoxious Updater”. Their posts will no longer appear in your time-line. If you change your mind (or they change their habits), you can undo this setting.

They’ll never know, but then what’s the point of being friends(?).

HINT: Hiding also works for applications like FarmVille or Poker etc. Click “X” and choose to hide all posts from that app.

WHEN ALL ELSE FAILS, BE BRUTAL

These days, it seems like the immediate response to being insulted or betrayed is, “OMG I’m going to delete them from Facebook.” But don’t forget this saying: “Keep your friends close, and your enemies closer.” If life is a battlefield, then for some, Facebook is the front line. Take advantage of it. You don’t have to interact with your enemies but you can use the News Feed to keep an eye on them.

Having said that, the best way to clean up your Facebook feed may be to simply delete friends, pages and applications that you don’t care about.

Before you do, consider  that Facebook isn’t only about maintaining real life friendships in a virtual space.

5 HANDY POINTS TO HELP YOU WORK THINGS OUT:

  1.   Consider ways in which your potential unfriendees interact with Facebook.  Do they post interesting or helpful links? Are they an expert in a field that’s relevant to your work or hobby? Remember that most people have something valuable to offer, so consider a person’s knowledge, skill set and connections before unfriending.
  2. You can choose to hide your information:  wall, photos, status updates or any mix of content; without deleting someone.  On top of that, you can be selective and hide from just one person, a few people or entire categories of people.

  3. Also very useful is the ability to control specific posts. Click on the lock icon and select who you wish to be able to see the post.

Check out this Facebook privacy guide for a clear explanation. Thank you, Facebook!

  1. Unless it’s the rare “friends at first sight”, think about sending a friend request to someone after meeting them for the first time. Unless you know they’re a well of useful information, you may find that you and this person never meet again, or your “friendship” fizzles due to your premature friend request that forcefully bypassed the real-life steps necessary to build a real friendship.  If you want to keep in touch for purely networking reasons, another story.  It is a “social network” after all.
  • In the spirit of National Unfriend Day, you’ve decided to delete those unworthy of your profile. Well done. Now, sign off Facebook and be satisfied with your actions.

  • Oh, and don’t send the following message to the friends who made the cut: “If you’re seeing this status update that means I like you enough to still be my friend!!!”

    Again, don’t do it. It’s arrogant 😉

    [Edited from Sharon Vaknin’s CNET Australia article, 9/5/11]

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