Let’s face it (loll), there’s no escaping social media. The phone part of my smartphone is essentially useless – because you can literally get ahold of me faster by Facebook-ing me than calling or texting.
And the more Facebook is integrated into our lives, the more research comes out that social media is harming us – making us depressed and giving us a skewed perspective of reality.
Okay, okay. Sure, seeing pictures of the baby my best friend in middle school just had kinda makes me feel like my whole life is behind schedule.
But let’s be honest. Social media is what you make of it. If you let it control your emotions, it’s bound to leave you feeling empty. Good news is – IT’S 2016! Your Facebook feed is 100% customizable!
Here are 5 ways you can hack your Facebook feed to make you happier!
Thumbs Up, Dude
Like pages. Lots and lots of pages.
Facebook is a golden retriever. It wants to please you. The algorithm is constantly updated to try to give you everything you want and everything you didn’t even know you wanted. So, how does it do this? By paying attention to what you like.
The more pages you like, the more diverse content you’ll see. The more content you see, the more fresh your feed will become.
When in doubt, press like. Go crazy.
I have yet to watch more than like 3 Ted videos, but – hey! – maybe one day I’ll go on a Ted binge.
I’m not vegan, but I like a handful of vegan pages. Why? I support the cause and I like seeing animal rights news on my feed.
By intentionally liking pages, you control the types of content that you see.
News pages. Handmade jewelry. Coding games. Your local improv group. Like anything that makes you happy.
Embrace the Grid
Sorry to burst your bubble, but most of your internet activity is not private. Between Google, Facebook, and Amazon – we’re basically a bunch of lab rats in a maze that’s twice our height, guided by the scent of delicious, delicious cheese.
And why is every click calculated? Well, so we can be sold to.
And that’s okay. I don’t mind being sold to if it’s something I want. The key to this acceptance is interaction.
Interact with anything that makes you smile. Anything that makes you cringe, cry, or ROFL. Liking something is the most common way to interact with posts, but did you know you can also hide, block, save, and report?
The more you respond to what you see, the faster the algorithms will learn.
And yes, you can also interact with ads on the right sidebar. Hover over one and you’ll see a little “X,” allowing you to say no thanks or more please.
Teach that golden retriever a new trick.
Save Yourself from FOMO
This is my absolute FAVORITE function of Facebook. The save link feature. Mmmm, just thinking about it makes me giggle.
A few months ago, when I went to hide a post, I noticed a new option – SAVE. And since then I have saved over 2,000 links. Oops?
While scrolling through your Facebook feed, there’s this feeling that each piece of information deserves your time – RIGHT NOW. But that’s simply not true – and that mindset, I believe, is the most harmful factor of our social media habits.
By letting your Facebook feed dictate the order in which you consume information, you are going on a rollercoaster of emotions. A rollercoaster missing the safety bar. When you save articles for later, you remove the anxiety of “now.”
Paris attacks. Toddler singing along to Adele. Sped-up cooking video. Friend’s wedding photos. Productivity article. Homeless transgender youth. Celebrity interview. Cats climbing into boxes.
It all demands our attention. And we want to give it. This is how we get sucked in. Save links, so you can experience them on your own terms, giving the article, video, BuzzFeed quiz the attention it deserves.
Remove FOMO and be happy.
I’ll admit it. Having a list of 2,000 saved links to go through is a little counter-productive. I got a tinsy bit carried away, yes?
The drawback to liking a crap-ton of pages and adjusting Facebook’s algorithm to your advantage, is that EVERYTHING IS AWESOME.
In no time, your feed will be filled with content you can’t get enough of. You’ll want to devour all of it. And here’s the hardest part of hacking Facebook to make you happier – saying no.
What are your goals right now? For the next 3 months? Next year? Next 5?
You can’t read everything and you’ll get burned out real fast if you try. So next time you’re browsing Buzzfeed for the perfect gifts for the Netflix lover in your life (hint: it’s you), ask yourself – “is this really moving me forward?”
Be ruthless about the content that gets your time, because you’re not gonna get it back.
When you stop looking at Facebook as entertainment, you’ll find it’s a great tool to discover information about your passions and goals – and I suppose, see all the babies your friends are having.
No, I don’t mean giving up Facebook for lent. Or going on a social media fast. Bleh. No, thank you.
Just as you should like anything that you might interest you, be aware of posts that don’t make you feel happy.
Clenching your teeth, trying to not go on a rage rant? Unfollow friend.
Baffled at the ignorance of the world? Unlike page.
Annoyed at another random acquaintance piping up in the comment section of your posts? Don’t let ‘em see it.
Unlike. Unfriend. Unfollow. Stay sane.
Your Happy Feed To-Do List:
- Go to www.facebook.com/pages to see suggested pages you might enjoy.
- As you scroll through your feed today, remember to interact – positively or negatively – to all the images, articles, and ads.
- As you scroll through your feed today, unfriend or unfollow people who post status updates that don’t sit right with you.
- Check your saved links section. Archive links that don’t deserve your attention and read articles that are important to you
There you go! Don’t let Facebook get you down. Instead, make it work for you!
I hope these hacks make you happier! If you know of any other Facebook tips or tricks, write ‘em in the comment section below or tweet me @reneezipp.