Mar 252013

How to get rid of some of those unwanted Facebook Friends and Facebook Pages.

Why there is a need (personal perspective)

I joined Facebook quite a number of years ago, thanks to a friend who was telling me about all our old high school friends that she'd found. So, kicking and screaming I relented and signed up, not thinking too much about what was about to happen.  During the course of a weeks vacation from work,  I managed to accumulate  over 200 friends. Nearly all of them I'd known for  years. Some however, I just became friends with because they said hi, or were friends of friends. Within my first year, I'd topped out over 2500, and over the years have collected 997 Facebook Pages that i've liked.  During the holiday season, my kids were otherwise engaged in their own activities, and I was left home by myself, pondering on what to do with my new found free time.  I decided that it was time to begin the house cleaning chore of my Facebook account that I had been dreading for months.

Examining the problem

With 2500+ people plus nearly 1000 Facebook Pages, and hundreds more Facebook Groups, my feed was full of crap that I have little to no interest in, posts from people I don't really know, talking about thing that I couldn't care less about.  At times throughout the day, as many as a hundred posts would fly by my screen every minute. Meaning I may actually miss posts from friends, family, and even business contacts that I  want to see.

Breaking up with Friends (Unfriend)

I began this immense cleansing task by examining my friends list.  Man, there was a lot of people that i have never heard of. So to start, I ran through my list, deleting people that I didn't know, have never heard from, or even engaged with. Quickest way to remove nearly 1000 people I have ever done.

How to unfriend - (At the time of this writing) While logged on to Facebook, click on your profile (click your name), and click on your "Friends" box. You should now be looking at your complete friends listing. Sift through the list until you find one that you would like to unfriend.  You will see a button next to their name, saying "friends". Click on that button, and select "unfriend".  This will remove the "friend" from your list, but will also have the added benefit of stopping their posts from polluting your timeline, and being able to invite you to "fling a pig",  "Grow weeds in the Outback", or share their other Facebook games du jour posts with you.

Congratulations, you have begun the process of house cleaning.

Keep the friend, remove their noise

OK, so we all have friends that we want to keep, but they are constantly posting about stuff you don't care for.  What to do? What to do.... In your news feed, you can alter what you see from your friends.  To do this, first, select the down arrow found on the top right of your friends post, and select "Hide..." as seen below.

image showing the hide feature

You will be given the following options:

image showing change of updates


From here, a list of options for what type of updates you may wish to continue to receive.

image showing FB follow option


You can also limit how frequently they become visible in your feed, by selecting one of the update options (See which updates?). "All Updates" (default) for instance, you will see everything they post based on your selections in the second area "What types of updates?" you have selected.

So, if the post or person in question posts a lot about their current Facebook game(s), and you don't wish to partake in their adventures, deselect "games".  *POOF*, no more game updates from Jane about Farmville!!

Perhaps someone "likes" a lot of pages (Fred liked "ima gangsta hoo kant speel") and you wish not to see those types of updates, deselect "Comments and Likes". The other update styles listed here should be pretty straight forward to understand.

Now you have removed people and quieted others down a fair bit.  Great job!

Pages? do we really need so many stinking pages?

First, let's remember that Facebook "likes" aren't a measure of Facebook Pages success. It's the engagement with the pages' followers that matter. Having 100,000 "Likes" of a page, on paper may look impressive, but if only 10 people are engaged in what the page is about, then the page isn't really successful, and likely won't have updates posted to the followers timelines as a result.  You may be doing your friends a disservice by "liking" their page, and never participating (commenting, liking and sharing).

As I mentioned at the start of this blog, I had 997 Facebook Pages that I had liked. Most were friends pages (Like my page about kittens that I will post once to, and never again), others for products and services, jokes, etc. Do I really need so many? Not a chance!

So, how do we deal with these pages that we don't necessarily "Like"?  Simply go into your profile and click on your "Likes" tab. The Likes area firstly displays your Favorites (Music, Books, TV, Games, Athletes, Sports, etc), below that you will find other pages that you've liked, shown in reverse chronological order.

To remove (Unlike) a "Page" - Click on the Edit button in the upper right and this will break out your favorites into categories, and lists the pages in each one. Simply click on the "X" on each Facebook Page title to remove it from your Favorites.

One of the most important areas to focus on is the "Other Pages you've liked" section. Scroll through, and unlike any pages you aren't interested in any longer. You  may need to refresh this area a few times. Facebook doesn't necessarily like to list all the pages. For me, it took 5 refreshes to complete the list.

Take Away

What should you take away from this? A bit of house cleaning every now and then will help to keep your News Feed free of all sorts of postings or people that you may not be interested in.

So, what are you going to do?

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