Dear Facebook friend,
I have a love-hate relationship with you. Mostly hate. I know that’s not a nice thing to say to a Facebook friend. But somehow, I get the feeling you don’t really care about our friendship.
Because you constantly bombard my News Feed with your opinions about abortion, gay marriage, or your favorite/most-detested politician.
You post graphic pictures of your rash, or of the scab on your big toe.
You rant daily about your pathetic boss and co-workers.
Do you seriously think that your incessant blathering will sway my views on social issues or politics?
Do you seriously think I look forward to viewing gruesome pictures of your latest injury?
Do you seriously think I’m dying to read daily rants about your miserable job and all the miserable people you work with?
In my opinion, your personal Facebook timeline is not an appropriate venue for promoting your social or political agenda. If you feel strongly about a particular issue, join a Facebook Group or create a Page. Those are ideal places (within Facebook!) to bond with like-minded folks and enjoy heated arguments with people who disagree with you.
But please, please stop abusing our real-life or virtual friendship by subjecting me to an endless onslaught about your pet cause.
I’ll admit; I’ve shouted, “Make it stop!” at my Facebook News Feed when I see your updates. But strangely, shouting doesn’t work.
Thankfully, Facebook has come to my rescue. They gave me a way to turn off your blather and get updates from friends and Pages whose content I want to see – right at the top of my News Feed!
So, bye-bye, friend. Don’t panic; I’m not un-friending you altogether. I’m just “turning you off.”
And I’m teaching everyone who stops by my blog to do the same. Because we’re not gonna take it anymore! (Watch this video for inspiration before you dive in to the tutorial)
Tutorial: How to see what you want and not see what you don’t want
After testing Facebook’s new See First feature on my smartphone and desktop computer, I recommend that you use a desktop computer for this task. It’s much quicker and easier, and the desktop version gives you a full array of options from which to choose.
These instructions are for the desktop version.
Step 2: On the far right-hand side of the blue Facebook bar that goes across the top of your screen, click the downward-facing arrow and select “News Feed Preferences.”
Facebook will display a summary of stories from friends that you viewed most during the last week.
Step 3: To see an alphabetical list of your friends, click on “People” and then click “Alphabetical Order.” If you are following an individual, the word “Following” with a check mark will display in a button on the right side of your screen.
Step 4: Click the downward-facing arrow inside that button and select one of these three options:
- See First – moves this person’s latest updates to the top of your News Feed
- Default – displays this person’s updates as usual
- Unfollow – turns off this person’s updates from displaying in your News Feed
I kept the “Default” option for most of my friends, but I unfollowed several and marked several others “See First.”
When you make a selection other than “Default,” the button next to the friend’s name instantly changes to either “Follow” or “See First,” so you’ll know exactly who has moved to the top of the class and whose updates you’re no longer following.
Depending on how many friends you have, this process may take a while. When you’re finished reviewing your list of Facebook friends, repeat the same process with Pages you’ve liked and Groups you’re a member of.
To locate Pages and Groups, click on “News Feed Preferences” (just like you did in Step 2), and then click either “Pages” or “Groups.”
There’s also a “More” tab in News Feed Preferences. The “More” tab shows you the apps you’ve hidden from your News Feed; click “Show” if you want to unhide them.
When you view your “Home” News Feed, you’ll see a small blue star in the upper right-hand corner of updates from friends, Pages, and Groups you marked “See First.” At the top of the update you’ll see a notice that says, “You’re seeing posts from [insert name of friend, Page, or Group] first.”
Here’s a video from Facebook that includes excellent screenshots:
None of these settings are irrevocable; you can revisit your News Feed Preferences any time and re-follow people you’ve unfollowed, or remove people from your “see first” list.
How to activate “See First” on a Page you haven’t yet liked
Let’s say that you haven’t yet liked the Blogging Bistro Facebook page. But this tutorial has inspired you so much that you’ve decided you can’t function without our daily marketing, blogging, branding, and social media tips. (We promise not to post political rants or pics of dismembered body parts, EVER.)
Here’s how to like a page AND see that page’s updates first, in one fell swoop:
Click the page’s Facebook URL. Example: https://www.facebook.com/bloggingbistro
Like the page (if you haven’t already). If you’re already a fan, click the downward-pointing arrow in the “Liked” tab (located in the bottom right-hand area of the large cover image).
Check “See First.” This will move the most recent update(s) from that Page to the top of your News Feed.
Check “Get Notifications.” If you also want to receive notifications about that Page’s activity on Facebook, check “Get Notifications.”
You can adjust your notifications settings in the “Notification Settings” area of your account. For details, visit https://www.facebook.com/help/327994277286267/
What types of Facebook updates motivate you to unfollow a friend, Page, or Group?