WINDHOEK - Do you have you a Facebook friend who is bringing you down with all his depressing updates, or a frenemy who you don’t want peeking at your Facebook photo albums? Well, you could always hit the “unfriend” button but doing so might seem a bit extreme - and hey, what if they find out?
Luckily, there are a couple of ways to keep marginal Facebook pals at arm’s length without cutting them off altogether, starting with…
Silence the downers
So, you have a pal who just won’t stop with the links to depressing news stories, the “I hate my job” updates, and the off-colour, not-so-funny jokes. You want it to stop, yet you’re not ready to chop your buddy from your list of Facebook friends. Now what?
Select “Unsubscribe” to remove a friend’s updates, photos and other activity from your news feed.
Meet the Subscribe button, which you’ll find sitting at the top of every friend’s Facebook wall, or whenever you hover your mouse over a friend’s name. You can even access a friend’s subscription options from the Facebook smart phone app.
The Subscribe button lets you manage which updates, photos, activity alerts and more appear in your Facebook news feed - and more importantly, which ones don’t.
In the case of this hypothetical (or not-so-hypothetical) bummer of a Facebook friend, just click their “Subscribed” button for a menu of status updates to which you’re subscribed; in most cases, you’ll see that everything from “Life Events” to “Music and Videos” is checked. You’ll also see a second “How many updates?” section with three options: “All Updates,” “Most Updates,” and “Only Important.”
If you want to hear less from a specific friend, just start tweaking the options, starting with the general “How many updates?” section (select “Only Important” if you only want to hear about, say, a new friend’s job or engagement) and finishing up by unchecking specific types of updates. You can even go all the way and select “Unsubscribe” to silence a friend entirely, all without actually unfriending them.
Block a frenemy
Ready for another scenario? Say you added your boss as a Facebook friend your first week on the job … and now you’re regretting it. You’re thinking twice about every photo upload and every update you post, but “unfriending” your boss isn’t really an option. What to do?
You can banish a friend to Facebook purgatory by putting them on your Restricted list.
Try this: put him on your “Restricted” list - a “friend list” for friends and frenemies who you’re this close to unfriending.
Once you banish someone to your Restricted list, they’ll no longer see any of your updates, photos or other Facebook activity - or at least, nothing that you haven’t flagged as “Public” in your privacy settings.
What’s more, their updates won’t appear in your news feed, either (although you might see their name pop up in the ticker once in a blue moon). Best of all, the “friends” on your Restricted list won’t know that you’ve restricted them.
And one last thing…
Remember, you can always re-subscribe to a friend or remove them from your Restricted list if you have a change of heart. So, have any Facebook friends you want to unfriend without actually unfriending them? From various Internet sources