With the advent of Facebook's design changes a couple of weeks ago, the News Feed suddenly got to be much more crowded and busier, filled with random comments and observations, links, conversations, photos, and other minutiae.
How do you handle people who talk too much on social media?
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Some of us are noisier than others. Indeed, this article might also be headlined "how to get Mitch Wagner to shut up," because I am most definitely part of the problem. I just love to share on Facebook. How do you get blabbermouths like me to shut up and stop bothering you?
Well, you can un-friend them of course. I've done that with a few people who are active on Facebook, and whom I barely know. But un-friending people has consequences. As obnoxious as your cousin's political links might be, un-friending him could be awkward at the next family Bar Mitzvah.
Fortunately, there's a way to get rid of obnoxious people's updates without un-friending them -- and it's actually pretty simple.
3 Easy Steps To Silence
So, go ahead, hide news items on Facebook from over-sharing motormouths, and enjoy the blessed silence.
Facebook spokeswoman Meredith Chin (who has wisely chosen to ignore my recent friend request) shares some additional tips.
"You can add [people you hide] back to your stream at any time by going to the bottom of the page and clicking on 'Edit Options' and then 'Add to News Feed' beside their names.
Organize your friends by creating multiple Friend Lists.
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"In addition, you can create a special Friend List of the people you care about the most. That Friend List will appear on the left hand navigation menu giving you the ability to filter your stream by those friends and see only their updates. If you want that list to be the default every time you go to your home page, you can drag that list above the 'News Feed' filter. Whatever filter is at the top will be your default view."
She noted that Facebook is constantly tweaking its user interface, so what you see on your screen might be slightly different from what's described in these instructions and shown in the accompanying image gallery. But it should be close enough -- until Facebook does another radical redesign, that is.
Keep Your Friends Separate
And now, here's how to create a Friend List:
I've created one list so far, called "Fav" for people who are actually my friends and family in real life.
New communications technology requires new forms of etiquette. When answering machines became popular, people argued about whether it was polite to screen calls. People argued over Caller ID. Now, we're starting to see arguments about appropriate of social media like Facebook.
I think in the future we'll see a consensus that you're not required to subscribe to your friends' Twitter feeds, or Facebook news, or blogs. That's what I already tell people who complain about my social media garrulousness, I say, "I realize my style isn't for everyone -- if you want to un-friend me, I won't be offended."
How do you handle people who talk too much on social media? Or are you the one who talks too much -- how do you handle complaints? Let us know.
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