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Last Friday I posted instructions on how to declutter your main Facebook’s News Feed by exiling posts by pages to Interest lists and ending the constant tug-of-war for Facebook user’s attention.  The same day I posted that set of instructions I went to work on my own account.  I spent over an hour sorting every page I had liked since joining Facebook about seven years ago into a dozen or so Interest Groups.

I ended up Unliking a lot of pages that are no longer relevant or active, and I moved the rest into Interest Groups and turned off “Following” for them.

When you follow a person or Page you see their posts in your News Feed. You automatically follow people you’re friends with. You can also follow the posts of people you’re interested in. You can also choose to allow people who aren’t your friends to follow your Public posts on their News Feed.

DancePartyI also unfollowed a few Facebook friends who post do not actually interact with people on Facebook and only share game activity or super popular memes.  By unfollowing, but not unfriending, we can still use Facebook messaging and see each other’s Friends Only posts without cluttering up our News Feeds with stuff that does not interest us.

That left me with people!  People I have met in person, family members, friends from school, former coworkers, etc…  were all right there on my News Feed.  They were just there.  One after another their status updates and shared photos and links marched down the feed.  They were not interspersed with news and marketing messages from companies I like or news outlets I follow.  It has been so refreshing.  This is what social media should be about.

Now days, after catching up on my friends I pop into my interest groups to see content of whatever variety I am in the mood for, whether that is news, or humor, or history/genealogy information.  And despite being a real news junkie, I did not feel deprived not seeing the latest Ars Technica or Raw Story posts because I did see the posts shared by people I trust or share an interest and interest with so the ones I do see are usually the best of the best.  These changes have fine tuned the curation power of my social network and the results have been great.

If you want to make Facebook feels less like a lecture hall or reading a newspaper and more like attending a dinner party, I recommend you try kicking Pages out of your News Feed.
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Top image by Stenfire (Stefano Marasso) on deviantART (Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 License).