Saturday, August 04, 2018

Turning down the noise

Recently, I’ve again seen folks on Facebook complaining about what other people post there. This is so unnecessary, as well as a bit inappropriate. However, there are easy fixes for the problem. These are the ones I recommend.

Most people know that they have no right to tell other people what they can and cannot say, yet some seem to feel they can complain about what other people choose to post. Some respond by asking their FB friend to not post those things, others take the “nuclear option” and unfriend the person.

The first solution is that some browsers allow the installation of extensions that will filter our posts that use certain keywords. Whether that’s an option or not depends on the browser one uses, and it may not be suitable for everyone.

Fortunately, Facebook has built-in solutions that don’t require unfriending.

Every post on Facebook has three dots in the upper right corner:

If you click on the three dots, a menu appears:

Three of the options are important here: “Hide Post” just hides that one particular post, so it won’t keep popping up in your newsfeed when someone comments or whatever. I’ve used this one a lot.

Next, “Snooze for 30 Days” will stop you from seeing anything from the person/page for, well, 30 days. This is useful when someone is posting constantly about one topic, but they may stop. I’ve never used this option, in part because it’s relatively new (It wasn’t available in 2016, for example, the last time I wrote about the options available).

Finally, “Unfollow” means you will stop seeing any posts at all from the person/page, and you won’t unless you choose “Follow” again. This doesn’t unfriend them, nor does it prevent them from contacting you, like by direct message. Also, the other person will never know you’ve selected the option. I have used this option a couple times, too, and always ended up following again.

However, as I pointed out back in June, doing these things means we won’t see the authentic person. That matters to me, but it may not to someone else. Such people might also not care about unfriending someone, but I’ve only done that a couple times in 11 years.

In general, I prefer to take responsibility for myself, and not expect someone else to do something when I have control over the situation. The steps above allow me to get the peace I seek, while leaving the other person free to do whatever they want. I think that’s a win/win.

However, I very rarely used any of these methods, and none are in use right now. Like I said, I prefer to see the authentic other person, even when they post stuff that maybe I don’t like or want to see. That’s what scrolling is for. I don’t mind looking after myself. That’s my way. Others may choose different ways. And that’s okay, too.

In any case, there are easy fixes for this Facebook problem. These are the ones I recommend.

I picked the subject of the screenshots because they're totally non-political and not at all controversial. It’s not acutally something I'd “Hide” or "Unfollow". So, it was a neutral example.

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