5 Ways to Control Facebook Information You Send and Receive

Facebook helps you control the volume and types of information you receive. So what's the big deal? If you've been on Facebook for any amount of time, there's a decent chance that you have someone in your friend list who just bugs you.

You know the type: Maybe it's someone you feel obligated to be friends with but don't know very well. Maybe it's a friend you used to be close to but has drifted away from you over time. Who it is doesn't matter; what matters is that they somehow are making your Facebook experience less fun. They are too familiar in their comments. Or they post too often about things that are annoying to you. They invite you to play games you don't want to play, or to events you don't want to go to. And then, a thought occurs to you—what if that's me? What if I'm that friend to someone else?

Here are some tricks for controlling your experience on both sides of this coin.

  • Use friend lists to your advantage: For example, you can create a friend list of people you know want to see a lot from you. These could the people who might comment on or like your posts most of the time. These are your best friends both on and offline. You can add them to this list (or use the already existing Close Friends list) and then, when you post anything, share it with that list only. Other people who you aren't as close to won't see those posts. You can also add friends to your restricted or acquaintances friend lists to prevent them from seeing your posts.

  • Hide posts from annoying apps or people on your News Feed: You can hide any story in your News Feed for whatever reason. After you've hidden a story, you should see options to hide all posts from that person, Page, or app. If you decide to hide someone, you won't be bothered by any posts from that person anymore.

  • Keep apps from posting to your Timeline: One of the biggest sources of irritation with apps is that they spam your friends. To prevent this from happening, when you start using an app or game, set the privacy visibility to Only Me. That way none of your friends will see any posts the app generates.

    Also, be careful about apps that prompt you to send invitations or requests in exchange for in-game bonuses—these types of apps are likely to send repeated requests that can get annoying to your friends.

  • Block event and app invites from specific people: Here's how someone dealt with a friend who's in a band on the other side of the country and sends out invites to all his friends for all his shows, all of which were in another state. Rather than unfriend this person, she blocked event invites from him by using the blocking section of the Settings page.

    The same thing can be done for a friend who sends too many app requests. Blocking these requests doesn't hide other posts like status updates or photos, so you can keep up with a friend without being inundated with invites.

  • Don't send blanket event or app invites: On the alternate side of this, don't be that person who sends out invites to every single friend for every single new game or every event that's coming up. Use groups to send invites to the people most likely to be interested in a particular event, and be wary of applications that prompt you to invite all of your friends to play with a single click.

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