Is the content you see on Facebook and Instagram making you feel lousy? Is endless scrolling getting you down?
Take control of what content you see on Facebook and Instagram and make it work for you. It’s time to Marie Kondo your social media accounts … if you ain’t getting joy from the people and pages you interact with, they gotta go. There are a few simple things you can do to protect your mental health and ensure you are getting value from your time on social media.
The social media algorithms dish up content to you based on content that you have shown interest in and engaged with in the past. So if you like a page and regularly engage with the content, you will see more and more of their content. This is the same with friends that you engage with on Facebook – the more you interact with them, the more of their content you will see.
I love cake decorating and one rainy Sunday afternoon I made the mistake of watching lots of cake decorating videos and now Facebook continuously serves up delicious and intricate cake decorating vids to me … my behaviour told Facebook that I’m keen to see this kind of content so I have only myself to blame for the continuous cakes in my feed!
I still get value from the cake stuff as I learn new tips and techniques. But there is other content that I’m seeing that I’m just not interested in, or content that makes me feel bad about myself or my life. If you’ve felt the same way, follow these quick tips to clean up your social media feeds.
To clean up your feed, the first thing you should do is review the pages you follow and make sure you only follow people and pages that make you feel good about yourself, that you can learn from, be educated or entertained by.
Unlike a Page on Facebook
Click on the Pages button (left hand side on desktop) and review all the pages you follow. Click into each page to Unlike them.
Unlike a Friend on Facebook
Click on a person’s profile and Unfriend them by clicking on the down arrow beside ‘Friends’. You can also do this in bulk by clicking on the Friends tab on your own profile.
Unlike a page or account on Instagram
Click on the three dots in the top right corner of a post and choose ‘Unfollow’. You are no longer following this page!
Perhaps you still like a person or page but you don’t want to see their posts anymore? You know, that friend that you really like in real life, but their social media chat is too much for you? Or that business that you like but you don’t enjoy their frequent, repetitive posts? (BTW it sounds like they need to attend my workshops! :))
It is easy to unfollow a page or person so you don’t see posts. The business or person will not get a notification about this!
Unfollow a Friend on Facebook
Go to their page, on their cover photo it will have a tick beside ‘friends’ and a tick beside ‘Following’ – click on the down arrow beside ‘Following’ and click on ‘Unfollow’. You are still FRIENDS with them but you won’t see their upsetting or annoying content in your feed anymore.
Unfollow a Page on Facebook
You can unfollow a PAGE in the same way. You can also unfollow a page when page content shows up in your feed. On mobile, click on the three dots in the top right corner of a post and choose ‘Unfollow’.
Mute an account on Instagram
If you still want to follow someone on IG but you need a break from their content, click on the three dots in the top right corner of a post and click ‘Mute’. You can choose to just mute their posts, or their posts and their stories.
3. EDIT YOUR AD PREFERENCES
Sick of seeing ads from companies and brands you have no interest in whatsoever? Or perhaps a company promotes ads to you all the time and you’re over it?
You can change all this by editing your ad preferences in Facebook. This will impact how you are targeted ads in Instagram too as the ad platforms are linked.
Advertisers target ads at people based on their interests and behaviours. Some people find this really creepy but personally I prefer to see content that I’m interested in rather than ads for things that have no relevance to me.
You can change your Ad Preferences so you only see ads that are actually relevant to your interests. You might be surprised by the things Facebook thinks you’re interested in! Remember when you followed a friend’s business page and then commented on the posts … well, that sent an indication to Facebook that you are interested in the topic associated with your friend’s page. So apparently I’m interested in Marathon Running … ummm no thanks. I have now removed that ‘interest’ from my preferences.
How to edit Ad Preferences on Facebook
On both desktop and mobile, go to Settings and click on Ads to get to your Ad preferences.
You can edit your interests, see Advertisers and Businesses that promote to you, edit your personal information that is shared, and review your ad settings.
4. CHOOSE WHO TO SEE MORE OF
Do you have friends and pages that you want to see MORE of? Perhaps your feed gets so cluttered that you miss out on updates from your favourite friends and brands? Prioritise pages and people that you find inspiring, interesting and who make you feel good about yourself. You can choose to see this content first on Facebook.
See more of the friends you care most about on Facebook
Go to your friend’s page. On their cover photo it will have a tick beside ‘Friends’ and a tick beside ‘Following’ – click on the down arrow beside ‘Following’ and click on ‘See First’.
See more of the brands and businesses you love on Facebook
Go to the business page. Just under the cover photo it will say ‘Liked’ and ‘Following’– click on the down arrow beside ‘Following’ and click on ‘See First’. You can also chose to turn all notifications off from this page by clicking on ‘All Off’ under notifications.
5. REMOVE PAINFUL MEMORIES
Lots of people love Facebook Memories but for others it can bring up old wounds and heartache. If there’s a time in your life that you’d rather forget, you can choose to not see the ‘memories’ of this time and the people involved in your feed.
Edit the memories you see on Facebook
Go to www.facebook.com/memories and click on Preferences. You can select the dates and the people that you don’t want to be reminded of.
Try this and see what a difference it makes to your social media feed. Make Facebook and Instagram work for you. As users we have the power to choose what we want to see and reject content if it doesn’t work for us.
And if that’s still not enough, take a break from social altogether. Do what you gotta do! Social media should be used as a tool to add value to your life, not to make you feel less than or unhappy.