In Facebook terms, “Let’s just be friends” now means “I’m not going to unfriend you, but I am blocking your posts from showing up in my News Feed.”
Because, yes, online breakups are hard, but that doesn’t mean you want to sift through everyone’s self indulgent posts day in and day out. Oh, you had chicken salad for lunch? Fabulous.
Anyway: Here’s how to keep the posts from your not-so-close, or just plain annoying, friends out of your News Feed on Facebook.
First, for the easiest way to make sure that all posts from a particular person are vanquished from News Feed, you can visit his or her Facebook page and click the Following button (turned on by default when you become friends). The checkmark from the button should now be gone and will say Follow, which means you’re no longer following him or her. You two will still be friends, of course, and the person you’re unfollowing will not be any the wiser that you are no longer regularly seeing his or her posts.
The more advanced approach, which is an attempt to ban certain types of posts from your feed, is different. While scanning your Facebook News Feed, you can simply hover over the top right hand side of any post you don’t care to see, and a small box with a downward arrow will appear. Click it, and options for Unfollow and I don’t want to see this will appear in a drop down menu. Selecting Unfollow will essentially do the same thing as clicking the Following button on the person’s page. Selecting I don’t want to see this, referring to the particular post, will push you to a series of questions that Facebook will use in an attempt to figure out which posts from this person you may want to see.
Some of the canned responses to the “Why don’t you want to see this?” question are designed for squashing spam. But, to be clear, we want to get rid of these posts on the merits of how truly uninteresting they are — nothing to do with spammy or advertorial content — so you’ll want to click the It’s annoying or uninteresting selection.
Next you’ll be offered one more set of responses to fine-tune a reason as to why you want to ban this type of post. You’ll want to select the It’s too silly, I don’t care about posts from this person or, if it applies, Something else.
Finally, you’re given a message from Facebook telling you that it will try to show you “better posts,” meaning the service will attempt to detect which posts from this person you might want to see. Again, if you’re not convinced and would rather not have this left up chance, you’re given another shot to click the Unfollow button.
After you’ve cut the fat, you can begin enjoying your scrolls through News Feed while sparing yourself all the eye rolling. Of course, if you’ve elected to allow Facebook to regulate which posts from these friends you’ll see, there will still be a decent chance of some muck sneaking through. In the event of further problems, we recommend just getting new friends.
Yahoo Tech is a brand new tech site from David Pogue and an all-star team of writers. Follow us on Facebook for all the latest.