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Facebook Stinks Again, a.k.a. I Can't Find My Friends' Statuses

The social media giant changed its algorithm again, taking my friends hostage in the process. I’ll show you how to get them back.

Facebook screen shot. Credit: Danielle Masterson.
Facebook screen shot. Credit: Danielle Masterson.

It seems like once a year, Facebook decides to mess around with our news feeds. The social media company changes its algorithm — which is how it decides who and what you see — and your News Feed becomes more like a stranger than your closest friends and family.

Well, this time, I am going to win, Facebook. I. Will. Win.

I began to notice the algorithm change a few weeks ago:

  • A lot of the news sites I liked weren’t showing up on my News Feed. North Reading Patch was no where to be found. This was most perplexing because… well… because I AM North Reading Patch. Really, I AM one of the North Reading Patch Facebook Page administrators. And yet, it’s not on my News Feed.

  • It started to feel like only 5 or 10 of the same friends were showing up in my News Feed out of the 600+ in my circle. Apparently, Facebook felt that I wasn’t interacting enough with the rest of my friends. Do you know how difficult it is to keep up conversations with 600 people? Just because I’m not talking to them doesn’t mean I don’t care what’s going on.

  • I had to set up notifications to find out what my dad was posting. If I tell Facebook who my dad is, let’s just assume I want to see him. He is my DAD. The same goes for my sister and brother. Nope, had to set up notifications too. I guess I don’t “interact” enough with them. Sorry, family.

Why should we let Facebook dictate who and what we want to see? Well, you don’t have to. You can create your own News Feed.

I call mine “Real News Feed.” And here’s how you can create your own “Real News Feed.”

  • Go to Facebook.com.
  • On the left side of the page, scroll down until you see Interests. Click “Add Interests.”
  • You will be brought to a page where you can create an Interest List. Click the button that says “+ Create List.”
  • Choose what Pages and Friends you would like to see on your “Real News Feed.” Want to see all your friends? Choose them all! When you’re done, click “Next.”
  • Type in a List Name and choose whether to make this list Public (so everyone can see it) or Private (only you can see it). Click “Done.” You have created your list!

Now, your list is viewable under “Interests” on the left side of the page when you login to Facebook.com. You can make it a “Favorite” by clicking on the pencil that appears to the left of the list name and choosing “Add to Favorites.” That will move it higher up on the left-side of the page.

Whenever you want to see what you decided was your Real News Feed, all you need to do is click on that Interest List.

But you may still see some annoying things in there. Because, let’s face it, Facebook is a necessary evil in many ways. We love it, but we don’t love horoscopes, game requests or Foursquare check-ins.

Let’s get rid of those and then our Real News Feed will be perfect!

  • Click on your Real News Feed and look at the top right corner where it says “Manage List.”
  • Click “Choose Update Types.”
  • Choose which ones you want. The most useful (translation: least annoying) on Facebook are: Status Updates, Photos.

And there you have it, the perfect News Feed. Because you created it. Not Facebook.

This post also appeared on my site: DanielleMastersonBooks.com.

This post is contributed by a community member. The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Patch Media Corporation. Everyone is welcome to submit a post to Patch. If you'd like to post a blog, go here to get started.

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