Don’t Quit Facebook, Just Fix It

How to “fix your feed.”

Did you hear the news that freshman politician Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez quit Facebook? As a digital marketing agency, it might surprise you to read that we agree with AOC’s recent proclamation that social media poses health risks. Like anything else, there is such a thing as too much social media time, and regularly exposing yourself to things that stress you out (like the 24 hour news cycle, or page after page of perfectly curated Instagram feeds) isn’t good for anyone long-term.

But in a time when social media has become so intertwined with our everyday lives, we’re not so sure the answer is to jump off of a platform completely, as AOC did with Facebook. She can say this now, but as a politician who relied heavily on Facebook to win her campaign, we expect she’ll be back on the network again (or she’ll have a staff member cover it for her). Limiting time spent on social platforms isn’t bad advice, though, especially when smartphone users (95% of Facebook’s user base) check Facebook alone an average of 14 times a day. We’re not doctors, but it seems logical that the healthier your relationship with social is, the better your experience will be when you do log in.

On the flipside, from a business standpoint, one of the biggest mistakes we see brands make is posting mediocre content under the false belief that posting more nets bigger followers. Scrolling through social and posting or reposting constantly isn’t the strongest tactic in its own right. Sounds downright exhausting, actually, and your followers will get tired of your content eventually, too.

In addition to AOC’s own self-regulation of screen time, we’re big fans of the movement to “fix your feed.” The idea is simple: hide, block, and/or unfollow the people and media (and brands) that you don’t want to see in your feed. If it doesn’t serve you, don’t hang on. We see this as a much stronger approach to social media over quitting altogether.

Though the results can take some time to see and it does require a little maintenance over time, you do have control over what you want to be exposed to. This isn’t about hiding important news from yourself, but taking back control of how often you want to check in on what’s going on. We are exposed to so much content on a daily basis. Why not filter it a bit for the stuff that really benefits you, helps you feel more connected to your community, and drives your passion?

Our prediction: it’s only a matter of time before social media platforms catch on to users’ self-regulating and start introducing additional tools (and fresh algorithms) to capitalize on it. In the meantime, you already have the option to control what you want to see, in many ways. Exercise your rights to fix your feed and you’ll never have to worry about taking more drastic measures.