My Facebook Experiment

I love my friends on Facebook. I love your status updates. I love the pictures you take. The more, the better. When you post to Instagram and share it on Facebook too, that’s really cool. If you write a clever tweet, I want to see it. If you write a blog post and share a link to it on Facebook, I want to see that, too.1Actually, that’s my biggest complaint about Facebook: it doesn’t show me everything you post.

In other words, if you wrote it, created it, or photographed it — I want to see it!

Conversely, your links to news, your links to politics, your quiz results, your game invites — I’m not so interested.2I get news, politics, and religion from Twitter and some RSS feeds I read. But if you post all those things, don’t worry. I’m not asking you to change.3In return, please don’t ask me to be consistent. I won’t be.

Instead, I’m taking charge of my own Facebook news feed.4This was inspired by Mat Honan who “liked” everything he saw on Facebook for two days straight. His experiment made Facebook an ugly mess. My experiment does the opposite. YMMV. When someone shares a link to something they didn’t create,5I have a few exceptions. There are some organizations I’ve liked. I actually want to see their stuff. There are also a couple of news orgs that I haven’t (yet) hidden. Time will tell whether I hide them, too. I click the “V” at the upper right and then select the “Hide all from this website” on the drop-down that appears. I won’t see links on Facebook from that source again. Ever!6Yeah, this does appear to be irreversible. Not that I’m complaining. At some time in the future, I expect to accidentally hide a source I might want to see from in the future. At that point, I’ll get more serious about learning how to undo this. In the meantime, should I recognize my error immediately, there is a handy undo link.

I started this experiment by hiding one of Buzzfeed’s quizzes. Since then, I’ve hidden scores of viral story sites, radio stations, news organizations, sports sites, recipe sites, etc. The effect on my newsfeed has been dramatic. I see more of my friends and less “stuff.”7Sure, my friends continue to link to places I haven’t yet hidden. But it feels like there’s less of it.

And the satisfaction from hiding stuff? That just can’t be beat! :-)