How to de-clutter your Facebook news feed and never miss an important post

Are you social media savvy?

You may think so, and you may be wrong.

The internet is an ever-changing landscape. A nightmare for those who are not technologically inclined, a headache for those who feel obligated to keep plugged in with friends and family, and a rewarding frontier for a new generation of entrepreneurs and activists.

Never in the history of the world has it been so easy to stay informed. But just like you can't browse a library properly without knowing the Dewey Decimal System, you can't browse the web properly without learning its language. 

Did you know that even if you “like” a page on Facebook, you might never see it in your News Feed?

There was a time when everyone you added as a friend, and every page you liked, showed up in your news feed. The stories were arranged with the most recent posts at the top of your feed, and the further you scrolled, the older they got.

That was a simpler time.

Nowadays it’s a lot harder to see what you want to see, and avoid what you don’t want to see. 

The internet no longer simply conveys information, it also collects information.

Facebook, Gmail, Twitter, YouTube, and all the other sites that you participate in are all collecting information on you. Everything you click on, everything you type, everything you read or listen to, is all going into storage. They analyze it, figure out what your hobbies, interests, and favorite foods are, and they market their information accordingly. They know your age, your location, your gender, and more.

So when Harper’s Hut decides to “promote” a post about their car show, Facebook will target people who are most likely to attend a car show. If you like pages that relate to cars, if you’ve ever made a status update about cars, then it’s very likely that the Hut's post will appear on your news feed multiple times before the event.

But Facebook doesn't just target the car lovers. Remember when you tweeted “anything fun and free going on in Sand Springs this weekend?” Facebook remembers, and they’ve got the answer for you.

On one hand, this can be a great way to keep up with what really matters to you.

Sure you liked your uncle’s page about homemade bracelets, but do you really care to see them every day? No, you don’t like bracelets. They’re bulky and get in your way while you’re working at the computer all day. But you love necklaces, and thanks to Facebook’s Orwellian tactics, you now know all about the upcoming sale on Summer Ellis jewelry at Ashton’s Boutique

But there’s a flip side.

Too much of the same information creates an echo chamber. You shared a cat video, so Facebook knows you like cats, so they show you more cats, and the cycle continues. Because they only ever show you cat videos, they’re completely unaware that your favorite animal is the capybara, and you’re wondering why capybara videos never show up on your feed.

So how do you control your news feed?

The first and easiest step to controlling what you see, is to make sure you have “liked” and “followed” the pages you want to view.

Morgan Miller, a partner at Sandite Pride News, surprised the rest of our staff when she liked our Facebook page two years after she was already an administrator. She assumed that because it showed up on her feed all the time that she had already liked the page. The reason it showed up on her feed all the time was because of how many of her Facebook friends were liking and sharing our posts.

While Facebook can be very helpful, its primary purpose is to be profitable.

In order to push businesses to spend money promoting their posts, Facebook limits the likelihood of stories naturally occurring in your news feed. However, you can work around this.

Firstly, don’t be like Morgan. If you don’t want to miss a post from a certain page, make sure you actually have liked it.

Secondly, check your “following” settings. You can like your mom’s home daycare page so she stops nagging you, but you can also “Unfollow” it so you don’t have to see her daily updates on what snacks the kids are getting before nap time.

There are two “following” settings, and the “Default” setting is what I previously described to you. You may see some posts, you may see no posts. It depends on what your interests are, and on whether or not that page is willing to spend money with Facebook. But you can also change your setting to “See First,” so that all of that page’s posts end up in your feed.

Thirdly, you can subscribe to notifications from the pages you are interested in. There are numerous settings for what you want to get notified of. You can receive notifications for All Posts, Events, Offers, and Live Videos.

So make sure you never miss another post from Sandite Pride News! See our posts first or subscribe to updates to make sure you always know whats going on in our town.

Here's ten recent stories you may have missed if you didn't have your notifications turned on!

  1. Sandite Pride releases 2017 Sand Springs Wrestling magazine
  2. State Senator Dan Newberry resigns seat to pursue professional promotion
  3. City of Sand Springs announces firework permit sales from June 12 to July 4
  4. Most-Anticipated Summer Blockbusters of 2017
  5. Sand Springs musician Hannah Rose releases More Than Conquerors EP and music video
  6. Longtime Sandite Coach/Athletic Director Cecil Hankins to be inducted into OBCA Hall of Fame
  7. CPHS Basketball: Holly Kersgieter receives offer from Oklahoma State University
  8. Three Sand Springs fishing teams qualify for National Championship
  9. Sandite of the Week: Daton Fix qualifies for World Championship in Finland
  10. Sand Springs wrestlers compete at Dual Nationals, place 4th with Team Oklahoma