How To Optimize Your Life On Facebook

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The Facebook team wants to make the company’s privacy policies more spontaneous for its social network’s millions of users, and thus it added a little padlock icon for privacy shortcuts at the rightmost part (next to the gear) of the Facebook bar.

The padlock icon within the website allows Facebook to provide users a walk-through on how to change the visibility of posts on the Timeline, allow or block contacts, and go over what people are writing about you.

Allowing Facebook, and other social networks, into your life can be a burden. If you want to organize how people engage and interact with you on the platform, it is best to know – no matter how long it takes – which settings and steps are ideal for you.

Here are tips to customize Facebook for a friendlier and healthier private space, which best mirrors real world social scenarios, and less a ragged newsfeed of unsolicited status updates.

How To Optimize Your Life On Facebook

Image: Alessi085 via Flickr (CC)

Reduced Time Spent

  • Do not leave Facebook open on your work computer.
  • Stop checking the website regularly during the day.
  • Disable the Facebook app on your mobile phone.
  • Enable email notifications for messages, photo tags, and Timeline and group posts.

Here’s how to enable or disable notifications:

  1. Click on the gear icon, the rightmost icon of the Facebook bar, and select “Privacy Settings” on the dropdown list.
  2. Click “Notifications” (bulletin board icon) on the left to open notifications settings.
  3. Under “How You Get Notifications,” customize how Facebook sends notifications through email, push notifications on smartphones, and text messages.

Restricted Access

  • If possible, inform friends to send personal messages through your Facebook Inbox and not through the Timeline for the public to gossip about.
  • Turn off your Facebook Timeline and edit the settings on who are allowed to see the posts.

Here’s how to adjust your Timeline:

  1. Click on the gear icon, the rightmost icon of the Facebook bar, and select “Privacy Settings” on the dropdown list.
  2. Click on “Timeline and Tagging” on the left.
  3. Choose the people who can add things to your timeline.
  4. Choose the people who can see things on your timeline.
  5. Manage tags people add and tagging suggestions. Facebook will notify you when a person has tagged you on a post or picture. You can approve or disapprove it before other people see it.

Filtered Friends

The newsfeed is a steady stream of statuses, comments, links, and photos from people in your network. In time, this will fill up with a flow of information on people who are complete strangers to you, and unfriending will be offensive for some of them.

Here’s how to direct Facebook to display what you want to see:

  • Find out who frequently comes out on your newsfeed.
  1. Go to the Timeline page and click “Friends” at the top (beside the profile picture) to check the list of all your friends.
  2. Click “Close Friends” to see more of that friend’s posts. This is also available if you hover the mouse pointer over the name of person who posted on your Facebook Timeline, where a box will pop up with his or her profile picture and the same “Friends” button.
  3. Select “Acquaintances” to see lesser posts. Your friends will not notice how you sort them.
  • To filter the updates from each friend that will appear on your Timeline.
  1. Click “Settings…” under the same “Friends” button.
  2. Check “Only Important” updates for major events and pictures.
  3. Uncheck other updates, such as succeeding Likes and Comments, on other people’s posts.
  • If a particular post in your newsfeed bothers you, it can be hidden.
  1. Hover the mouse pointer anywhere on the post.
  2. Click on the dropdown arrow that pops up on the status’s borderline.
  3. Choose “Hide…” This will hide the post but will not stop future updates from that person to appear on your newsfeed.
  • To block all updates from a friend after hiding his or her post on your Facebook Timeline.
  1. Click “Change what updates you get from…”
  2. Click “Unsubscribe” under the dropdown menu.
  3. If you want to ignore a person’s Facebook activity, uncheck “Show in news feed” under the same “Friends” dropdown menu for sorting friends to “Close Friends” and “Acquaintances.”

Organizing the Facebook newsfeed from top to bottom is taxing, especially if you have hundreds or thousands of connections in the social network. All the hard work will pay off once you get to read only important messages and pictures from persons you actually consider friends.

Go Small

Facebook helps its users stay in touch with people who have common interests, but hundreds of friends in your network have no interest in seeing the intimate interactions you have with some close friends.

The best thing to do here is to go small; create a circle smaller than the Facebook-generated lists based on your school information, hometown and employer.

Here’s how to create a smaller circle:

  1. To set up a group, go to your newsfeed by clicking on “Home” on the top (near the padlock icon).
  2. Click “Create Group” on the left of the page in the “Groups” section.
  3. Choose friends to add and confirm to create the group as”secret” so only members can see the group exists.
  4. To receive notifications when someone posts on the group wall, enable it from the “Notifications” page under the gear icon.

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Author: Francis Rey

Franz believes voracious readers become good writers. So, he reads anything that piques his interest. He spends his downtime on road trips and binges.

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