question four.

September 11, 2011 at 8:31 am 4 comments

i’ve written twenty of these profiles now, and published about half, maybe less, but here’s another question for y’all. how do you filter your friends list?

i’ve been noticing posts on my newsfeed about changes in the ways that facebook does its newsfeed, but i haven’t noticed anything. every few months, a post goes around about how now facebook only lets you see the people who you’ve recently interacted with, but the first time i saw that i changed my settings so that i see everything. i’m not sure why it gets posted again, what is exactly going on, and if i’m actually missing out on some stuff still, but i don’t think i am. it’s all very odd, the way information about facebook gets spread on facebook. it’s murky and chain letterish… and yet i stay.

anyway, my privacy settings are such that anyone can see my interests, where i’m from, and where i live, and that’s about it. my friends have access to pretty much everything. i don’t have any filters (sometimes irl, as well as online). i don’t limit who of my friends can see what i post, and i read everything that everybody posts… if i have time.

that reading pattern is what i’ve been doing since livejournal days and it works. i start from the most recent post and work back. when i’ve reached saturation, time limits, or the page not loading i stop. when i say i read everything, i don’t mean i read every word and click on every link, but i scroll through it all. i generally read all status updates, glance at links and photos to decide if i will click on them, and skim over new interests, friends, changed profile pics… but if you’ve written words and i am on the internet within 24 hours afterwards, i will probably read it. if it’s longer than 24 hours i might miss it.

it’s odd to me that people would have facebook friends whose posts they then don’t read. i’ve used an analogy of facebook as a blanket before– these friends covering me and keeping me safe, and this method of reading about people’s lives adds to that metaphor (which is actually slightly physical for me– similar to the creepy way that i feel like i’m actually carrying things i’ve “cut” around on my finger until i “paste” them)– the people who post a lot of rich interesting posts and links make the blanket feel thick and substantial and the people who have abandoned facebook or have a more lurker status make it feel lacier and more fragile in patches. (is it like that for anybody else at all?)

i suppose/know that it’s also got to be odd for other folks to read about how if something is over 24 hours old i might not read it. how can i be actually interested in people’s lives if i don’t read further back than a day? i mean, usually i’m around daily, so there’s that, but there are definitely things that i miss. but i think i read somewhere between 50-75% of everything that gets posted, which is okay for me, given the time and energy i have.

what about you? tell me tell me tell me (how you do that facebook trick).


Entry filed under: Uncategorized.

friend eighteen. friend twenty.

4 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Jocelyn Grant  |  September 11, 2011 at 11:47 am

    I do pretty much exactly the same as you. I do have filters, but I don’t think I’ve ever actually used them to filter content. My filters are geographical mainly. I have a Canadians group, a UK group, an International group and a Family Friendly group which is the only one in place for filtering purposes as it’s people who I don’t really want to expose to the less ladylike aspects of my personality (mainly my parents, in laws and older relatives). Though as I said I’ve never actually used it to filter content because if I find myself writing a status that’s kind of too personal or sweary or in poor taste I generally just decide not to post it or maybe do the message-to-a-group thing that I do which you’ve been the recipient of a few times.

    I kind of hate how facebook seems to filter things. I do have my settings on to see the timeline rather than the ‘top news’ but I do feel like facebook kind of gives me more prompts about people who post a lot, rather than maybe people who are significant to me who I just don’t talk on facebook with much, but I don’t know a fix for that really.

  • 2. choirqueer  |  September 11, 2011 at 1:18 pm

    I don’t have any filters. My guiding principle of internet posting is that I don’t believe in using it for things that I would not want everyone in the world to potentially be able to read. It also just feels like too much work and frustration to try to categorize my friends.

    I sometimes hide the posts of people from whom I don’t feel pulled to read every update. Usually I’ll do this when I suspect this person has also hidden my posts. My feeling is that I don’t need to disconnect from someone completely if they haven’t chosen to completely disconnect from me. If I want to get in touch with them, or they with me, we can still use FB to do that without having to read each other’s every update.

  • 3. Heidi  |  September 11, 2011 at 1:58 pm

    I would say that I filter things similarly to you, Cubbie. I did have a few people last year that I would filter out of my news feed–those were some of the people that I removed from my FB when I had my grand clean-out on New Year’s Day. Now the only ones I hide are posts from pages that I’ve “liked”, but don’t necessarily want posts from. (Example: I “like” Hal Sparks, and I’d like that visible on my profile, but I don’t necessarily want re-posts of 20 twitter updates a day.)

    (In passing, I dislike that they seem to have done away with the ability to “hide all by this page” like you can still do for FB friends. It was nice and easy.)

  • 4. cubbie  |  September 14, 2011 at 12:22 am

    thanks, y’all! 🙂 i don’t have any deep responses, but it’s interesting to see that it’s similarish for each of us.


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