Social Media

How to cut the noise out of Facebook (use a friends list sorted by most recent)

Take control of your Facebook

Spend less time on Facebook, and enjoy it more. Tired of all the junk on Facebook? Do you find yourself scrolling and scrolling forever? Only a couple items out of hundreds look interesting?

Cut down all the garbage you see on Facebook and take control of your timeline. The method is simple and employs two parts.

  • Part A: Use a Facebook list. You’ll see only the people you care about.
  • Part B: Sort your posts by most recent. With chronological ordering, you’ll see all their posts in the true order.

With this two-part method, Facebook doesn’t get to choose what you see. You choose.

I use Facebook several times a day, each session lasting for only about two minutes. That’s six minutes total of Facebook a day! It’s so satisfying knowing that I’m done seeing all the new posts that I need to see.

How to take control of your Facebook stream

Part A: Make a list of the people you care about

You probably don’t care to see posts by most people on Facebook. Acquaintances in high school, people who constantly rant their political opinion, etc. Pick only the people who you care about. Don’t worry too much about who to include and exclude. You can always edit this list later. To give you a general idea of how many to include: of my 500 friends, I have about 100 in this list.


1. Go to: facebook.com/bookmarks/lists


2. Click on the “Create List” button
Click on the "Create List" button


3. Name your list

A dialog box will appear called “Create New List”.
For “List Name,” give it any name you like. I call mine Friends 1. A dialog box will appear called "Create New List"


4. Add Members

For the “Members”field, just start typing some names of people you know. Facebook will auto-complete the name. Don’t worry about getting everyone in this screen. You’ll be able to add more in a moment.

Click “Create”

For the Members field, just start typing some names of people you know


5. Your list will appear!

Your friends list


6. Now, let’s add some more people.

In the upper right click “Manage List” and select “Edit List”

In the upper right click "Manage List"


7. A dialog box will appear called “Edit Friends 1” (or whatever you named your list)

A dialog box will appear called "Edit Friends 1"


8. Click “On This List” and select “Friends”

Click "On This List" and select "Friends"


9. A list of ALL your friends will appear.

Simply click on friends you want to add. A blue checkmark will appear by your selected friends.
Click the “Finish” button.
A list of ALL your friends will appear.


10. The dialog box will disappear.

It will seem like nothing happened, because there’s no “Saved!” notice. But it’s saved. Oh yes.


Great! Now you have a list of just the people whose posts you want to see.

When you view the list, the posts will still appear in a random order. Let’s fix that by sorting the items into chronological order. When we do this, Facebook’s algorithm ordering will be gone.

Part B: sort by chronological order

Let’s first find your new Friends list.

11. Go to the facebook homepage.

In the left column is a menu item called “Friend Lists.” Click on that.

In the left column is a menu item called "Friend Lists." Click on that.


12. A page titled “Friends” will appear.

I don’t know why they call it “Friends”, this page should be called “Friend Lists”. But anyhow, on this page there are all your Friend Lists.

A page titled "Friends" will appear.


13. Find your new list and click on it.

Find your new list and click on it.


14. In the left column, find “News Feed”

It should be right under your name. Roll over the text. You’ll see three dots.
In the left column, find "News Feed"


15. Click on those three dots.

Click on those three dots.


16. Select “Most recent”

Select "Most recent"


Poof! Now your Facebook is sorted by chronological order.

Take THAT, Facebook algorithm!

Now that you have this handy list sorted by most recent, you will see everything from the people you care about. It may sound like this will be overload. But it’s not. Bookmark this list in your browser. Instead of visiting Facebook.com, visit this list. Seriously. Please do not ever go to the homepage of Facebook ever again.

Sometimes I’ll go to the homepage of Facebook, just to see what their algorithm dishes up to me. Every time I’m shocked. So much noise. Never ending noise. How do people put up with the algorithm noise of Facebook?

With this list, you can use it as YOUR Facebook.

Go to this list often, and you’ll find yourself scrolling through the posts, and then you’ll see one that you’ve already seen. That’s your sign that you are done! Everything you’ve seen already!

That’s right! You are done. Facebook doesn’t scroll forever and ever. Come back to this list in a couple hours, and see a handful more posts. And then you’ll be done, check back again in a little bit.

Seriously. You can have a much quieter and more focused experience with lists.

Now, if someone is posting a ton. Then, well, drop them from your list.


How to remove someone from your list

  1. Go to your list. You know how to do this, because you have it bookmarked, right? Right?
  2. Click “Manage List” in the upper right.
  3. Select “Edit List”
  4. A dialogue box will appear. Click on the blue checkbox to remove the person from your list
  5. Click “Finish”

There! that person is gone.

You don’t want a loud-mouth overposter to ruin your Facebook experience. Does that sound cold? Yeah, but this about YOUR taking control of YOUR Facebook. Don’t let other people control what you see.

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