The question posed to me this week:

How can I avoid the ‘rabbit hole’ of social media?

We’ve all been there. We hop on to Facebook to find the answer to some quick question and find ourselves 45 minutes later forgetting why we went on at all.

Here are a few, quick tips on fine-tuning your Facebook experience so that you can make the most of your time on the platform.

1: Take Control of Your Own News Feed

choose your facebook feed order

set your facebook preferences on your mobile device

The default setting on the News Feed option is “Top News”.  This will show either what Facebook algorithms think you’d prefer to see or it will show posts in your news feed that are getting more engagement.

If I am going to view my main news feed, I prefer to order my Facebook feed by “Most Recent”.

I find that I need to reset this option just about every time I go into Facebook.

set your facebook preferences

Head on over to your “Preferences”.

On your desktop version, you can find that option on the top left sidebar or in the tiny down arrow on the right side of the blue bar at the very top of your page.

On your mobile device, you will, again, click the three lines at the bottom of the screen. Scroll all the way down to “Settings”.  An option here is “News Feed Preferences”.

Take a few moments to go through the options in preferences. You will be surprised how much control you can actually have on your newsfeed.

2: See a Designated Segment of Your Contacts

Did you know that you can decide to see only certain contacts in your feed?

I find this very helpful when I want to check in on just my family members to see what everyone is up to.

I also find it super helpful to keep up on what folks in my either my local community or my networking groups are doing. This is a very efficient way for me to engage with folks. It helps me to find relevant information to share, as well as to offer comments to further a discussion that is relevant to me.

In the left sidebar, towards the bottom, look for “Friends Lists”

create lists on facebook for feed options

You may find that Facebook has already created some lists for you based upon your area or how you may have labeled some of your contacts when you first connected.

But – now you can go ahead an create your own lists based on categories of contacts that you may want to connect with on different occasions.

Once you’ve created a new list, you can choose to only see posts from the folks on that list.

Try this!  You will love it!

I promise.

3: More Options for Your Feed

edit your facebook shortcuts preferences
edit your facebook shortcuts preferences

Use the Shortcuts options to help you identify which groups and pages you prefer to see first in that section of Facebook. (Desktop and Mobile versions)

4: Limit the Distractions

save time on facebook notifications tagging

Have you checked your Settings lately?

This is probably a good time to do so.

While you are there, take a look at your Timeline and Tagging settings. If you are getting distracted by people tagging you in posts, you may decide to shut that option off.

You may also get distracted by Notifications (Are you one of those people who simply can NOT stand to see the red notification dot?) Then, for sure, head on into the Notifications settings and SHUT THEM OFF.

If you’ve been wondering how to shut off the email notifications, here’s your place to do this, too.

5: Read It Later

save a link to read later in facebook

If you find you are clicking through on articles because you are afraid you won’t be able to find the post later on, click the “Save” button at the bottom of the post.

Now you can designate a chunk of time to catch up on your reading. Or, you will have a place where your important articles have been saved for your reference.

view saved posts on Facebook

Well,

I think there are probably a bunch more tips folks have for avoiding the time suck when using social media, but I hope you will find these few tips helpful.

And remember, if all else fails, set a timer – and stick to it.