Tuesday, October 27, 2020

Avoid All the Drama on Facebook with These Tips

by Edie Melson @EdieMelson

This year has been a trying year for everyone on Facebook. From the political comments to bogus news traps, and even Christmas, I’m hearing reasons people are taking a break from this social network. But throwing the baby out with the bathwater may not be the best solution to this dilemma.

It is possible to interact on Facebook and NOT be inundated with updates we don’t want to see.

Facebook works on their own Edgerank algorithm. This means that based on certain parameters, FB decides what you’ll see and what you want. But these parameters are influenced by our personal (or business) behavior, so we actually have a little more control than we may realize. Here are some habits you may want to develop to make your FB time a little less stressful.

How to Make Facebook Work for You

1. Be careful what you LIKE, COMMENT, and Share. As I said, our behavior weighs heavily into the algorithm. What that means is that FB is watching the things you LIKE (or dislike) Comment On and Share. For example, the more you engage on political updates, the more political updates you’ll see in your newsfeed. Refusing to engage won’t completely clear your newsfeed of a specific type of update, but it will greatly reduce the number you see.

2. Be wary of which links you click on. Don’t get caught by ads like “Celebrity X is no longer with us,” or other click bate. Even the name game links can add to number of junk updates that show up in your newsfeed.

3. Choose a list of FAVORITE accounts that are trustworthy. Most of us remember the good ole days when we saw every update from our friends—in order—in our newsfeed. Those days are long gone, but there is new work-around that FB has made available. It’s called FAVORITES. This works with people you are FRIENDS and with pages you LIKE.

To FAVORITE a friend, go to his/her profile and click the person icon next to MESSAGE (under the cover image). You’ll see the option to add to FAVORITES (see screenshot below).

After you choose that box, a small check mark will appear beside the person icon. 

You’ll also notice that there’s another option under FAVORITES that lets you jump to a list of all your friends and you can choose which to see first from there. CAVEAT: you are only allowed to see 30 accounts first, so choose wisely. (see screenshot below)

To FAVORITE a professional page, go to that specific page and click the three small dots next to the search icon. Choose FOLLOW SETTINGS. (See screenshot below)

After you’ve clicked that, another menu pops up. From there you can choose FAVORITES. (see screenshot below)

TWO NOTES:  1) Facebook bounces back and forth from allowing on 30 FAVORITES total, to allowing more. There is a limit though, so you'll have to pick and choose wisely. 

2) on a PAGE, there's nothing to denote that you have added it as a favorite. You'll have to navigate the steps above to see that. (see screenshot below)

My Overall Facebook Strategy

My FB profile is set to public. This means anyone and everyone can see it. These aren’t my close personal friends who already know my heart and my intentions, these are strangers who only have my picture and some random updates with which to judge my meaning and intent.

My personal friends and I can debate and disagree privately because we already have a foundation for our relationship. We have a level of trust and even more importantly—context—that makes sharing difficult things in a loving way possible. I can share things with them that could be considered inflammatory unless we shared that context. When I share controversial things on FB—with strangers and people who don’t know me well—it’s like standing on a street corner and screaming that the only way to Heaven is through Jesus and without Him we’re all going to hell. It may be truth, but it just sounds like hate and judgement. When it comes to sharing difficult truth, I don’t hold back with the people I know personally.

Bottom Line
The way we choose to interact on FB that is very personal, and I know some of you will disagree with the approach I've chosen. I’m fine with that. We each have to do what we feel is right. But know that if you choose to engage with controversial posts, your newsfeed may light up like World War 3.

I hope this post helps you engage on FB in a way that is less stressful. These are the things that I’ve found have a huge impact on what I see in my FB newsfeed. What have you found that helps you keep the rioters at bay on social media? Be sure to share your thoughts in the comments section below.

Don’t forget to join the conversation


Edie Melson is a woman of faith with ink-stained fingers observing life through the lens of her camera. No matter whether she’s talking to writers, entrepreneurs, or readers, her first advice is always “Find your voice, live your story.” As an author, blogger, and speaker she’s encouraged and challenged audiences across the country and around the world. Her numerous books reflect her passion to help others develop the strength of their God-given gifts and apply them to their lives.Connect with her on her 
website, through FacebookTwitter and on Instagram.


  1. Thank you, Edie for this informative post! I love the SEE FIRST option and will have to use that! (Okay, don't tell DiAnn I used two exclamation marks here. LOL.)

  2. I avoid politics and controversy. My mission in life is to make people laugh and encourage them. I'll stick with that. Scripture even tells us not to fill our minds with things that aren't good, uplifting. And political discussions sure isn't that!

  3. Edie,

    Thank you for this wise and valuable article. I "appear" like I am on Facebook a lot but actually I'm not and need this valuable information. I will be studying the details and following your guidance later today. With gratitude,

    author of 10 Publishing Myths, Insights Every Author Needs to Succeed

  4. Edie,this is a good, practical post. Sometimes we are our own worst enemies, clicking items, then being surprised when FB feeds us more of the same! I'd like to add that there's a problem when people copy & paste posts, then urge others to do the same. The problem with that is that sometimes the originator of a seemingly innocuous post is a scammer, whose goal is to see who responded. Scammers then search phrases in the post to see who shared it, then may later try to manipulate that person or their friends. The original post often cannot be traced.

  5. Thank you for this very helpful information! I will put it to good use.

  6. One more note for writing friends: I was shocked when I found, on a news site, a comment I had actually posted only to my friend's private FB page as a comment under a public article she shared. No real harm done, except I had joked with my friend in the comment, which looked weird on the public news site. I found this out accidentally when googling my own name (to see what agents or editors might find). I try to remind friends when I share public posts that their comments will also be public.

    1. Glad you mentioned that, Laurie. I never thought about that happening.

    2. Good reminder, Laurie. I've also noticed that when my friends comment on a post from a news agency or other large, public forum, I get notified of their comments when I scroll by that post. So if we think we can spew our political views in the comment section of a video and it won't matter because only strangers who don't know us will see it, we're wrong!

  7. Edie, this is so helpful. Thank you for organizing the information and including screenshots. I appreciate you!

  8. This is good to know. I don't see as much of some close friends as I do of some people I only know through FB. I share stuff I find interesting but don't original comment a lot. I try to be careful because I've found there can be fifty comments exactly like mine and it's my comment people will find, and they will take exception to it. It could be funny, but I always wonder, do I have a sign that says beat me with a stick? Or is it because I look harmless? Boy do they get a surprise. I have a dictionary and can use it...and I know Shakespeare. LOL, Donevy

  9. Thanks for this, Edie. I didn't know about the the favorites list either. You make social media easy for those of us who are technologically challenged.

    Even if our profiles are set to public, we can still set individual posts to friends only and even limit our "friends" by designating them as acquaintances, right? How well are those posts protected? Can they be shared by friends?

  10. One of my favorite Facebook strategies that I discovered a while ago is the "unfollow" button. It allows you to NOT see that individual's posts, but you don't have to "unfriend" them - and you can still wish them a happy birthday! LOL!

  11. Thanks for your practical advice, Edie!

  12. Oh, thank you, Edie! These tips are sooo needed!