How to Solve Your Facebook Frustrations

Facebook has become the most popular social network and one of the most popular destinations on the entire Internet, but its not without some very frustrating features. Over the years, Facebook has evolved from a social network exclusively for college students to a social network now boasting almost 1 billion users. As Facebook has changed its demographic of users, it has also drastically changed its design and feature set, which is now much more complex and causing an immense amount of frustration for users. Here are a few of the most common points of frustration for Facebook users, as well has how you can solve these Facebook frustrations.

Timeline

Recently Facebook announced it is now going to be rolling out the new profile design, Timeline, to all of its users across the globe. Will this new design was initially an opt-in feature when first announced during Facebook f8 conference in the fall of 2011, Timeline is becoming the default profile design for all users and there is no way to revert your profile to a previous version of a Facebook profile design.

Facebook users have expressed a great amount of discontent and frustration with this design, as it resurfaces all the content that has ever been posted on your profile wall publicly – whether by yourself or another Facebook. If you are concerned what content Facebook users can see on your Timeline, the best option is to visit your Privacy Settings and choose to limit the visibility of all of your past profile wall posts to just your friends. To do this, just click Manage Past Post Visibility next to Limit the Audience for Past Posts and all of the content on your profile will now only be visible to just your friends.

Keep in mind, though, that anyone who is still your friend can see all the posts on your wall that were ever public. If you are concerned that you have Facebook friends that you may not want to see previous Facebook posts, your next option is to remove these Facebook users as Facebook friends. This is an instant way to beef up the security of your Facebook profile with just a few clicks and ensure that your future Facebook content is only visibile to people you really trust.

Games and Apps

You have likely received dozens of requests to join your friends to play games on Facebook, whether it’s Farmville, Mafia Wars, Castleville, or one of the other dozens of other popular games. Facebook is a huge platform for these social games; in fact, according to documents released by Zynga last December, Facebook is responsible for producing more than 90 percent of Zynga’s sales. Though these games are popular, many other Facebook users are frustrated with the constant flood of notifications and messages they receive about their friends playing games, or inviting you to play with them.

Luckily, Facebook has made it easy to adjust your privacy and notification settings to easily stop receiving both these notifications to join games and also stop seeing messages about the games your friends are playing in your newsfeed. One easy way to stop seeing notifications about specific games is to immediately take action the next time you see a message about your friend playing Farmville. When you see a status update from a friend about Farmville – or any other app, for that matter – hover over the message and click on the dropdown arrow that appears in the top right corner.

You will then have several options, including to “hide all” messages from that game or app. You can also unsubscribe to messages from your friend, which will allow you to stop receiving status updates from your friend without deleting this Facebook user as a friend, which is a useful feature if they’re an app-addict – or you’re just too polite to delete them as a friend entirely.

Ticker and Chat

With the recent redesign of Timeline, Facebook also introduced several other new design changes, including a “ticker” in the upper right corner of most Facebook pages (just above the permanent chat sidebar) that show users the activity of their friends in real-time. For Facebook users with hundreds of friends, this feature is extremely frustrating as it is incredibly distracting. If this feature is frustrating you, now you can drag the top bar of our chat window all the way to the top to hide the ticker. While this won’t prevent your activity from displaying in others’ tickers, it can eliminate the distraction for you.

For those of you who find that the chat column itself is frustrating and are constantly bombarded with chat messages from friends you don’t have time (or don’t want) to talk with, you can easily go “invisible” by clicking the gear icon in the bottom right corner of the chat column and selecting Go Offline.

Rude Comments and Trolls

Bob Lefsetz, a music industry analyst, once said in speaking about Kanye West that “If no one hates you, you’re not doing it right.” If your Facebook profile or fan page is constantly filled with trolls and rude comments, this is obviously frustrating and can be understandably upsetting. When I first started writing for LockerGnome, I once threatened to return to waitressing after an onslaught of rude comments after doing a series of videos during CES 2011. It took several months to learn to ignore similar comments on both YouTube and on this blog without wanting to cry.

Learning to ignore trolls is one approach, but here at LockerGnome, we also block users who are consistently rude and offensive – otherwise known as “trolls.” If you find that certain Facebook users are frustrating you by acting similarly, feel free to block them. You can do this by going to the user’s Facebook profile and clicking on the gear icon directly underneath their Timeline cover photo, on the far right side, and then choosing report/block. After you block this user, they will no longer be able to comment or engage with your content.

These are just a few examples of common frustrations on Facebook and how you can solve them. What features of Facebook frustrate you – and how do you work around them? Feel free to share your thoughts in the comments.

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  • http://www.bharatkumargupta.com/ Bharat Kumar Gupta

    thank you for the post, still i would expect facebook designers to wake up and bring back organised design to the site along with the personalized search option which is inherent in G+.

  • http://www.bharatkumargupta.com/ Bharat Kumar Gupta

    thank you for the post, still i would expect facebook designers to wake up and bring back organised design to the site along with the personalized search option which is inherent in G+.

  • http://www.bharatkumargupta.com/ Bharat Kumar Gupta

    btw the ticker is not present within indian version of the site so one less of an annoyance, but this timeline has completely killed conversation from facebook, people dont use the site as much as they were use to a couple of years back

  • Alpha

    The ticker has a “Hide” button now, by the way.

  • http://twitter.com/ronknights Ron Knights

    First, thank you for attempting to make some sense out of Facebook. However, I maintain such help should not be necessary.

    Facebook has been needlessly confusing for years. Facebook appears to be totally clueless when it comes to protecting the privacy of their users. Facebook also doesn’t have a clue about how to make things simpler for us.

    I maintain that no one should need to make more than 2 or 3 clicks to accomplish a goal. All instructions should be in Plain English, the terms used should reflect exactly what you’re trying to accomplish.

    If you’re attacked by a troll, you should be able to click right by the name of the troll, as it appears in the offending message, and report and block the troll in 1-3 clicks.

    We should be able to go to one screen and set all our preferences in one shot. If we don’t want to get game invitations, we should be able to handle that easily. 

    I find Facebook and similar services incredibly frustrating. In the old days, we had friends, and others who were not friends. Nowadays we have “friends” who are not really friends. That is double-talk in my mind.

    I really get annoyed by people who insist on sharing pictures and news stories they saw elsewhere. I don’t need someone else to pass along the world news or tech news either. 

    Nowadays I rarely use Facebook. Today I discovered that 2 people had added me to their friends list, or whatever it’s called. I don’t know them, so I declined.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Cornelia-Cornflake/100002692962280 Cornelia Cornflake

    Got no friends … got no problems! Just use it for access to games these days.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1163280561 Lizzy Leff

    I’ve been using the Timeline for months, but I don’t have the ticker. What’s up with that? 

  • Monique Cloutier

    Hi Chris

    Great post … http://lockergnome.com/social/2012/02/15/how-to-solve-your-facebook-frustrations/

    I am subscribed to you on YouTube, Twitter, Empire Avenue, Blogger, Google+  ++

    @MoniqueCloutier:twitter 

  • http://twitter.com/cyberseniors cyberseniors

    Our young students have been teaching our seniors about the internet for a few months now, and  some seniors are often confused about where to find things in Facebook, which causes some to give up on it completely.  We don’t look forward to the mandatory shift to Timeline!