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Life Hacks: 

Bored By Your Facebook News Feed? Take Back Control


Next time you’re bored by Facebook, tell it what you want to see instead

Last time you visited your Facebook News Feed how many posts did you like? No, not in the Facebook sense – so don’t count the friends you gave a thumbs-up out of habit or politeness – but how many were actually worth your time? If you’re not satisfied by the answer, then it’s time to seize control.

The algorithm behind Facebook is pretty clever, but it’s far from perfect. The good news is that if you find your feed is dominated by stories that don’t interest you, then it probably only needs a nudge back in the right direction. It’s easy to become blind to what we like and what we don’t like about our feeds when we login every day, but they’re not entirely beyond our control. So, when your ready to reclaim your Facebook News Feed, here’s how to do it.

1. Take the Facebook News Feed survey

Facebook knows that its algorithm isn’t without its flaws, so it’s full of ways to help you change it. Firstly, if you’re unhappy with the number of ads and spam on your Facebook News Feed, then it’s worth taking the network’s quick survey where you can tell it what you like, and what you don’t. It’s only 15 questions and shouldn’t take any longer than 5 minutes.

To complete the survey click the down arrow next to any post on your feed, then click ‘more options’ and choose ‘Take a survey to make News Feed better.’

2. Manage your preferences

While the Facebook News Feed survey should clear up some of the spam, you can start to drill down into more specific likes and dislikes by clicking the arrow in the top right of your screen – next to your notifications. Here you’ll find an option for ‘News Feed Preferences,’ where you’ll be able to see exactly which people, pages and groups have appeared most on your feed in the last week. If anything seems unusually prominent, just click the ‘following’ button to drop it out.

3. Cull your ‘friends’

If you check Facebook every day then you get used to seeing certain people, even if you haven’t actually met or spoken in years. It’s easy to get sucked in reading about the lives of casual acquaintances, but your Facebook News Feed should be much more interesting once you hide them from view.

There are two options here – ‘unfollow’ and ‘delete’ – and it’s up to you which is more appropriate. For security reasons it’s best to have as small a group of Facebook friends as possible, so visit the ‘friends’ section of your profile where you can quickly get rid of the people you hardly know. To unfollow instead, just click the down arrow next to posts as they appear in your feed and select the appropriate option.

4. If you don’t like something, speak up

Hopefully Facebook will be looking noticeably more interesting already, and as you scroll down your new-look feed you’ll begin to notice which kinds of posts you really don’t like – even when they’re from people or pages you can usually rely on. It could be a close friend who is constantly being tagged in identical photos, or a family member who can’t go to the supermarket without checking-in. Whatever your bugbear, click the down arrow next to the offending post and select ‘I don’t want to see this’ to keep it from repeating itself.

5. Block the pages you hate

Finally, however many people you cull and personal preferences you set, your friends’ likes and shares will still appear on your News Feed from time to time. Usually this is fine, but if there is a page you don’t follow that keeps hovering around your feed like a bad smell, then it’s easy to block it. Next time the page appears, click the arrow next to the post and select ‘Hide all from [insert annoying page]’. Next time you login, you should see only the pages and people you actually like.

Photo: Twin Design/

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