During the last presidential election, I (like many others) almost gave up Facebook for good. Entirely! Done. Finito. Unlike other social media platforms, you really don’t have a lot of control over your newsfeed. Instagram, Snapchat, and Twitter all make it so you have all the control and choose what type of content you have in your newsfeed and who you want to follow. Facebook? There are some elements of control, but it can still get out of hand at times. You can be someone’s friend, but really not want to see their posts. Sure, you can unfollow them. But considering the growth of Facebook each day and how we are meeting new people as well, “unfollowing people” can only go so far.
I had to really think hard about whether or not it was Facebook that was the problem, or if I was the problem.
In the end, I realized that Facebook is an experience that I have control over and I choose to make the best of it. Here are some ways I’ve made Facebook a happier, healthier social media platform.
1. Post about what you love, not what you hate.
It’s true that when you’re championing for a cause, you get a more positive reaction when you choose to promote what you are for, instead of what you’re against. In any major movement in history, it wins because they champion the positive values or cause instead of focusing on the oppression or lack of freedoms (don’t get me wrong, these are still very big parts, just not the focus). There are many things in life that we each are passionate about and love. Facebook would be a better platform all around if we choose to use it for good and share what we love. Share resources that you find helpful, stories that make you laugh, funny incidents that happen to you on the path of life or even, just a good ‘ol meme that makes you laugh.
2. Connect with like-minded people who enjoy what you enjoy.
There are some pretty bizarre Facebook groups out there (Laundry Love & Cleaning Science is currently going 151,071 members strong and growing), but that’s what makes Facebook so unique. It’s so much easier to connect to niche groups than ever before. Start by just typing into the search bar a group with which you would like to connect, and you would be surprised at what pops up. Facebook picks up on this as well, adds it to its algorithms, and suggests groups to you on the sidebar in the future. (I’m in groups ranging from anime fans to groups just for Executive Assistants.) Whatever you’re looking for, it’s probably out there. If it’s not, start one!
3. Use Facebook as a place to expand ideas, to know people and to ask questions.
Depending on the subject matter, you always risk opening a can of worms. But it IS possible to have a civilized, contained discussion on some of life’s important topics or burning questions you might have for a complex problem. It’s surprising to see who holds what opinions on particular subjects. Or, maybe you have a business idea, or you are struggling with a software. You never know who has what experience and knowledge that can be helpful to you if you had never asked. More often than not, people love to connect and help each other when given the chance.
If all else fails, delete the Facebook app off of your phone and just use the Facebook Groups App to just stick to people you love and know, and people with whom you share hobbies or passions. If you use Google Chrome, you can use the Newsfeed Eradicator to replace your news feed with quotes about wisdom and productivity. I highly recommend it as it cuts the amount of time I used to spend scrolling through everyone’s posts.
Just remember, you CAN make Facebook a positive place to be and still keep in touch with Aunt Martha. It’s up to us though to make Facebook the experience we all want to partake in today.