07 January 2011

Forwarders in the Age of FB

Back in the days, when e-mail was the primary form of electronic communication, some people just love to forward every little joke or "warning" that fell into their Inbox.  Fast forward a few hundred years to the Age of Facebook.  It seems those same "Forwarders" are now our FB friends.  Things are a bit different but essentially they entertain us with the latest news about addictive games they are playing, with YouTube videos, with witty remarks like "I am bored", etc ad nauseum.  Or so they thought it is all entertaining.  It is not.  What's worse, because of their sheer volume, these so-called status updates crowd out all the other posts.  It is the equivalent of speaking at a party using a megaphone, or having a seat on a crowded subway car and spreading your limbs all over.  In the beginning of my Facebook experience, I was guilty of inadvertently posting too much about the few games I play.  To gain the widest publicity possible, all apps on FB love to post onto your Wall every little interactions you have with it.  You can take control of the situation by making the proper settings.  From anywhere in FB, go to the upper right corner, click Account then Privacy Settings.  Go to the Apps and Websites section in the lower left and click Edit Your Settings.  In the Apps You Use section, click Edit Settings.  Find the apps that you no longer want it to write to your Wall and click its Edit Settings.  As an example, my dailymile app can post to my Wall.  Should I want to change that, I would click the Remove next to the Post To My Wall setting.

In the ideal world, everyone who reads this article would rush to their FB settings and tell all their apps not to post to their Wall any more.  That will not happen.  Even if it does happen, that would take care of just the posts from the apps.  What to do about the YouTube videos and such?  Hide 'em!  I think everything on your Wall can be hidden one way or another.  Put the mouse over it and an X gadget will appear on the upper right of that item.  Click it to see the different ways you can hide it.  You can hide just that one instance or the person who posted it.  In the example below, and it's just an example because I do not mind posts from the App Store at all, there is a third entry.  Maybe it is there because App Store used that App Publisher to do the posting, who knows.

Use it on someone who posts too frequently to keep your Wall manageable.  You can always go visit their profile page if you think you miss out on something.  Worst case scenario, you can always Unhide them by going to the Most Recent link (or whatever you may have it set to), choose Edit Options at the bottom of the list, and remove your friend from the bad list.  Unfriending someone because they post too often is drastic, so is quitting FB altogether.  Just hide them, it can be undone.

1 comment:

  1. Great suggestions, Qap. But for "geezer" like me who do not post anything on my FB, I was "unfriended" by a very nice person :(
    FB will not be on my list of New Year Resolutions. I guess I have a boring life and there is not much to share with the world :)
    It is sunny here with a dusting snow on the ground. Temperature in the 20s and we are staying indoor today.
    Keep warm and hope the coming snow storm will not too bad for you and NYC.