So you want to know how to improve your Facebook experience? It’s easy – disable email notifications. Facebook’s notification emails give you the absolute minimal amount of information, followed by a handy link to get you to load up your profile and check things out in depth. When someone comments on something, Facebook’s notification emails tell you what they said, but don’t give you any other context – so you have no idea what exactly the comment is relating to (typically, at least). So, about a week and a half ago, I simply turned Facebook notification emails off.
To turn Facebook notification emails off, open Facebook.com (sign in, obviously), and click on ‘Account’ in the top right corner, then choose ‘Account Settings’ from the drop-down list. From there, click the ‘Notifications’ tab.
Annoyingly, this isn’t a quick task – you have to individually uncheck every one of the little boxes shown in the photo to the left – there’s no ‘check all’ or ‘uncheck all’ button. Once I did this, though, I’ve noticed that I have a much more enjoyable Facebook experience, for a few reasons:
1. I’m much more likely to comment/like other people’s stuff – when you have email notifications enabled, you get an email any time anyone comments or likes something after you – this can prove especially frustrating on things like baby announcements or other postings that are guaranteed to get hundreds of likes and comments. When you know your email inbox won’t be flooded with followups, you’re free to interact with your friends more.
2. I spend more quality time on Facebook – this one surprised me. I initially thought that if I wasn’t getting notified externally (email), I would be on Facebook 24-7, to make sure I didn’t miss anything. However, quite the opposite happened – I started spending less ’empty’ time there and more quality time – engaging with and interacting with friends and acquaintances. I now only check Facebook maybe two or three times during the day, instead of leaving the page open all day or checking it every hour.
3. Facebook Messages aren’t as annoying – Facebook’s Messaging system is built just like email. While this works good for alot of things, it really sucks when someone adds you to a list to which everyone always replies-to-all. There’s no way to opt out of these types of ‘conversations’ – when someone responds, you get the notice, every time, whether it pertains to you or not. As with commenting on popular posts, this gets really old, really fast.
If you’re getting tired of Facebook, I’d challenge you to try disabling email notifications before you give up on the site altogether. I’ve made tons of awesome connections on Facebook, and I’ve genuinely re-connected with people from earlier times in my life through the site, as well. While there are some valid reasons people quit Facebook, simply managing it properly can help you enjoy the connections without getting fatigued.