Sunday, May 19, 2013

To Friend or To Unfriend...That Is The Question

Back from a long, quiet spell...let's just say I've had my hands full with a marathon and a promotion at the office, but I'm back with some good stuff, again in the Facebook category.

What should you do with Facebook Friends that you would rather not Unfriend? Perhaps you  friended your boss, and now you are watching every move you make on Facebook. Or you have that Debbie Downer or overly political friend that inadvertantly takes over your Facebook NewsFeed and leaves you in a foul mood.

You have options that do not extend all the way to Unfriend, which they can eventually find out about. Consider these less draconian measures...

1. Use the Acquaintances option.

I hear you talking to your computer. "I have an Acquaintance option in Facebook?" do. And this is a prime time to use it.

The Acquaintance option is for Facebook Friends you don't need to stay in close contact with. And if you place someone on a Acquaintance list, Facebook will automatically cut back on the real estate those Facebook Friends get in your NewsFeed. That Friend will still pop-up from time to time for big events, but Facebook should pare back the Pinterest photos and hourly philosophical rants.

To use the Acquaintances option, just spot your Friend in the NewsFeed. Hover over their name. In the box which appears, click Friends and then choose Acquaintances from the popup. (And No, Lisa, you're not going on my Acquaintance list!)

2. Take 'em out all together.

You can nuke someone from your NewsFeed altogether. This means exactly what you think it does; the Facebook Friend disappears from your NewsFeed altogether. You can still, however, chat with them and you can still visit their Timeline to see what they have been busy with. But you don't have to see the NewsFeed stories at all.

To take someone's stories out of your NewsFeed, start down the same path as above. Find them in the NewsFeed. Hover over their name. In the box which appears, click Show in News Feed. Although not intuitive, that is actually an ON/OFF checkbox. Unchecking this takes them out of your NewsFeed.

Enjoy the peace.

3. Send them to the Restricted list.

This is probably the least known option, but one of the coolest. In this scenario, the Facebook Friend drops out of your NewsFeed. Mission Accomplished.

But additionally...they are much less likely to see your stuff in their NewsFeed either.

Read that again. Not only can you restrict what you see in YOUR NewsFeed, but you can restrict what content of yours that someone else sees in their NewsFeed. You can live in less fear of Mom seeing your 2am partying (and the resulting 9am hangover).

This feature lives one level deeper in Facebook. The first steps are the same. Find the name. Hover over it. Click the Friends button. Now click Add to another list... and then find Restricted, which is typically near the bottom.

Perhaps the best news about any of these options is that Facebook will never tell your Friend you have done any of this. And it helps you manage your NewsFeed into what you want to see. After all, it's YOUR NewsFeed.