How’s your relationship with Facebook?
Mindfully using social media to learn, share, and connect can really add to our lives. After all, most of us joined Facebook to stay connected with friends, family, community, and people with similar interests (like digital decluttering 😉 ) !
But social media also has a way of making us lose track of our very valuable time, and it can even induce loneliness and anxiety if we don’t develop healthy habits around it.
Has checking Facebook and endlessly scrolling become so second-nature that you don’t even realize how much you’re doing it? Remember, the first step is simply being mindful of our habits.
Let’s take a dive into how we can really curate Facebook to improve our quality of life, rather than distract us. We’ll look at:
- Setting healthy boundaries around social media use
- Using Facebook to connect!
- Organizing and cleaning out Saved posts
- Customizing notification settings for less distraction
- Periodically checking out our Friends List, Liked Pages, and Groups
- Adjusting News Feed settings so we see what’s most relevant
- Checking on what our Facebook profile looks like to the public.
Tame Your Notifications
Remember, YOU control the notifications you receive. Set them up to support you best! Go to your notification settings to update how you see notifications. Personally, I have Browser, Email, and SMS notifications turned off.
While you’re in your Notification settings, see what kind of notifications you have on. Don’t want suggestions for “People you may know”? Turn them off!
Then review your notification settings for individual Groups and Pages.
Pro tip: If there is a post you’re interested in keeping tabs on — to see the comments that pop up — click on the three dots on the top right and select “Turn on notifications for this post.” You’ll see when there are new updates on the post and never have to post “following!” in the comments again! 😉
After all, that’s why you got on Facebook in the first place, right? As social creatures, we need conversation and engagement to get our social connection needs met.
Sometimes it feels like we’re connecting with people when we see their social media updates, but that actually leaves us with a feeling of less social connection in the long run. In fact, the people you’re scrolling past in your social media feed might not even know you’re following along or thinking about them.
Who has been on your mind lately that you’ve been meaning to connect with? Reach out to them!
Pro tip: There’s a better way than just saying, “Hey! What’s up?” take a moment to reach out on messenger and ask them a meaningful question. Not sure what to say? Here’s some inspiration from The Hello Code!
Choose What You See
Do you use different Facebook views?
The default view is for “top posts” to show up first — which means an algorithm is sorting the most popular posts to the top. But you can also view Most Recent or filter your view even more by choosing Pages, Groups, or Favourites. In this way, you can tailor your feed to feel more personal and relevant to you.
Pro tip: When was the last time you looked at your own profile? Maybe it’s due for a refresh! Click “View as public” to see what shows up for your friends or public viewers. Remember that our Facebook (and other social media) profiles have become a sort of “business card” of the tech age. Make sure yours expresses who you are!
Create Custom Connections Lists
Did you know you can make custom lists of your Facebook connections? Create and add contacts to “Custom lists” by category like work, school, interests, or location. This is helpful if you want to tailor the content you’re sharing to specific audiences. Here are some list ideas:
- Restricted: Move connections you don’t know very well or haven’t connected with in ages to the “restricted” list. This allows you to keep them as a “friend” but only shows them your public details.
- Favourites: Hit “Favourite” on the connections you want to see more of — you’ll get their content first!
Pro Tip: You can select up to 30 Facebook friends and Pages to add to Favourites.
Clean Up Your Saved Items
Saving Facebook posts, events, and pages to view and share is an awesome feature, but it can get messy in that Saved folder! I love saving something like a recipe, craft, inspiring video, or beauty hack to try.
Organize your Saved items into Facebook Collections (essentially, folders) for things you want to save. You might create Collections like:
- Watch Later
- Mood Boosters!
- Yummy Food
- DIY Projects
- Fitness & Health
It’s a good idea to make a habit of reviewing your collections regularly to make sure they stay useful and don’t get overwhelming.
Check Your Groups & Pages
How many defunct groups are you in? Any Pages you’re still following that have been irrelevant for 10 years (maybe the elementary PTA group of your now teenged-kid)? Unfollow! If you’re not quite ready to let go, you can turn off Notifications for specific Groups and Pages.
Use Digital Wellbeing Settings🧘
Want to spend less time on Facebook? Set time limits on the app from the Digital Wellbeing options on your mobile device.
Reduce distraction by using Focus Mode or Do Not Disturb to pause your notifications (on your phone or desktop). It can be a life-saver for work productivity and fulfilling personal time! I recommend setting an automatic schedule if you have a regular routine.
Scrolling late into the night? Set up Bedtime Mode to silence your phone and change your screen colours to grayscale or dark mode. You won’t be tempted by notifications and scrolling in black and white gets boring quickly. As with Focus mode, you can set a schedule for Bedtime mode at the time you want to start winding down each evening.
Let’s declutter! Actions to tidy your Facebook right now:
- Review your notification settings: Head into your Settings (click the gear icon) and scroll down to Notifications to what, when, and how you’re getting notified!
- See what matters: Set your News Feed to show you what you want, not what the algorithm wants you to see. Choosing “Most Recent” or filtering by Favourites can show you what’s most relevant to you!
- Organize Saved items: Just like your browser bookmarks, Facebook Saved items are useful but can get cluttered quickly! Scroll through your Saved items, eliminate any you don’t want anymore, and organize the rest into lists by category.
- Tidy your Friends & Likes: Check out what Groups, Pages, and Events you are following and “unlike” any that are no longer relevant or bringing your joy. Go ahead and check out your Friends lists while you’re at it, too 😉
- Simply start with mindfulness: Are you intentionally using social media to connect? Is it a habit that’s stealing your time and focus? Take some time to reflect.
Changing habits is easier when we’re in it together. Not sure where to start? Here are a few resources we’ve created for you!
1) Download our free habit-tracking workbook to get your mind aligned toward digital wellness.
2) Subscribe to the Digital Declutter Newsletter and be the first to receive monthly tips and event information.
3) Join the Facebook Digital Declutter Community for added accountability, tips, and motivation.