Every so often, I have a friend who does a “Facebook detox.” They decide to stay off of Facebook completely for some amount of time and will usually make a post telling everyone why they feel the need to do this and when they will be back online. Usually, the reason is because they want to spend less time on Facebook so are trying to go off it cold turkey and ease back in. Or they are tired of all the negativity that shows up in their News Feed.
While I am all for the idea of taking a break every now and then from social media, I think that for some of us social media is a reality we can’t fully escape. As a business owner, I need Facebook to stay in contact with people. Plus, most of my family and friends are scattered across the country so without Facebook I would not know what they were up to. I would miss so much of their lives if I avoided Facebook. Plus, Facebook can be a treasure trove of information on topics I want to learn more about.
That being said, our Facebook profiles can sometimes get “clogged up” with a lot of unwanted stuff. And having to filter through all this unwanted stuff on a regular basis can be time consuming and frustrating. So, I devised my own version of a Facebook detox that tweaks my News Feed so I, for the most part, only see things I care about. With just 4 easy steps, I made my News Feed much more inviting and harmonious.
Recently, my husband told me he was thinking about deleting his Facebook account because there was seldom anything in his News Feed that he really cared about- just random posts by people he didn’t know well. Once I took the time to explain to him the tips I am about to share with you, his Facebook experience was much better. And now I invite you to try out these tips that I have used to optimize my Facebook News Feed.
1. Are your “friends” really your friends?
Think about the shape of your News Feed right now (for those who aren’t familiar with that term, your News Feed is what you see when you log onto Facebook- it’s the stream of posts that other people and pages have made that show up for you). Do you have a few people who you don’t know well (or at all) who continually post things that annoy you? Maybe it’s someone you took one class with in college who posts angry political rants on a daily basis. Or that random person whose friend request you accepted because you have some friends in common even though you’ve never met.
While it isn’t possible to avoid negativity altogether, why deal with it on your Facebook profile and News Feed when you don’t have to? Why have people on your friend list who you know are triggering for you? You should not dread logging on to your Facebook account- if you do, please keep reading these steps and try them out.
And keep in mind that your Facebook profile is an extension of you so the people you friend should be, for the most part, ones that you actually like and that uplift or inspire you in some way. Something that I do a couple times a year is sit at my computer and look at who is on my friend list. Since I use my personal Facebook profile for connecting with other health coaches from my school, there are quite a few I’ve never met in person. But if I look at the name and I have literally no idea who this person is and they aren’t someone whose posts I find relevant to me, I simply release them. There is no drama revolved around it, none of those “respond to this post with a comment or I will delete you” pleas. I just let it go.
I will say that one emotion that used to come up for me around releasing people off my list was guilt. I would feel bad for unfriending someone, especially if they hadn’t done anything directly to upset me. But it’s important to me that my Facebook stays in alignment with who I am and what I am aspiring to become. I find that more difficult to do if I have a friend list full of complete strangers I know nothing about. But ultimately, do what you’re comfortable with.
I suggest you also do the same thing with the pages you have “liked.” The first time I went through my list, I saw pages I had liked years ago that were no longer interesting to me. By unliking them, you are ensuring that their posts won’t show up on your News Feed and are clearing the energetic clutter from your profile.
2. The solution for when you aren’t ready to unfriend.
There’s a little Facebook trick I’ve used in specific, rare circumstances that some people are not aware of. If you are friends with someone who you feel the need to stay friends with, but do not want to see any of their posts, you can simply “unfollow” them. This means that they stay on your friend list but you will no longer see anything they post to Facebook. Just go to their profile page and click the drop down “following” box and then click “unfollow.”
This is great for those situations when you have a family member or friend who you want to stay in contact with, or avoid the drama of unfriending, but don’t care for the posts they make. Maybe it’s an uncle who posts pictures of his cats on an hourly basis or a close friend who you love dearly but are tired of seeing pictures and descriptions of all her meals throughout the day. By unfollowing them, you will no longer see their posts in your News Feed. But the best part is that you are still Facebook friends and can go to their profile page and look at their posts there if you choose. And, of course, this is totally reversible should you change your mind down the road.
3. Repopulate your News Feed with what you love!
Okay, so now that we’ve unfriended or unfollowed people/pages who were populating your News Feed with negativity, it’s time to add in some positivity! I suggest you think of a few things you are very interested in and start searching for them on Facebook using the search bar at the top of your screen that says “Search Facebook.” Is there a band whose music you love? An artist that you enjoy keeping tabs on? Are you interested in cooking or yoga? Search out pages that are devoted to posting about the things that you care about.
Personally, I follow people and pages that post positive affirmations and healthy recipes because those are the things that get me motivated. And the beauty of this is that once you start liking pages that are relevant to your interests, Facebook will begin suggesting more pages to you that are similar. So in no time, your News Feed is full of articles and pictures that matter to you.
And keep in mind that the more you interact with a page or person on Facebook, the more of it you will see.
Here are some suggestions to get you started:
- Rev. Dr. Raymont Anderson- an author, motivational speaker, teacher, and holistic life coach (among many other things :)) who posts and shares thought provoking content related to becoming your most authentic self.
- Dr. Wayne Dyer- Dr. Dyer has passed on, but every day this page posts a new affirmation for reflection.
- Marc David- founder of the Institute for the Psychology of Eating. Posts content related to mind-body connection, particularly as it relates to food
- Kris Carr- for wellness tips, recipes and motivation.
- Authority Nutrition- if you are interested in health and the science (or lack thereof) behind some of the fad diets out there, this site is for you.
- Life Bloom with Jamie Kelm- this is my page! I try to post a mix of wellness/health related content, recipes, and motivational videos and quotes.
4. Put the stuff that matters first.
Another trick to optimizing your Facebook News Feed is using the “see first” feature. Pick a couple friends and pages whose posts always inspire you or make you smile. Then go to their page and click the drop down menu next to “message” and click “see first.” This means that you are essentially telling Facebook that what this person posts is very important to you so you want to see everything they post to show up first in your News Feed.
By doing this, you are ensuring that the first posts you see when you log on to Facebook are ones that are going to make you happy or convey relevant information to you. I personally have done this to one of my Facebook friends who always posts uplifting messages in the morning. But generally, I do this with pages I really like such as FullyRaw because she regularly posts absolutely stunning pictures of raw fruits and vegetables. And of course Louise Hay and Dr. Wayne Dyer so I get my daily affirmations.
I hope these tips were helpful for you in detoxing and optimizing your Facebook! Let me know in the comments below how these tips worked for you or if you have one of your own that wasn’t featured. And if you like what you read, don’t forget to subscribe for future updates!