Facebook now has a snooze button for friends: good idea or won’t make a difference?

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I have a like/hate relationship with Facebook. As I mention every time I cover Facebook stories, my friends use it for party invitations which is why I keep mine activated. I also like to talk to my closest friends and see their photos, but let’s be honest that’s only 5-10% of the content. Recently two of my friends got engaged and announced it on Facebook, which was mildly thrilling for a few minutes. On the other hand, I hate learning that my cousins are racist, I hate it when guys I barely know use it to hit on me (and subsequently curse me out when I unfriend them), and I hate seeing constant ads in my feed. A lesser problem for me is when people spam my feed with football posts or posts which are otherwise meaningless or annoying to me. (I know you’re thinking “politics/pro Trump” posts, but I just unfriend all those people, even family.) In that case you just unfollow the person and/or indicate that you want to see less of their posts.

Anyway Facebook thinks that we need a 30 day snooze button for posts, so they’re instituting one. You can now freeze out a person’s posts for 30 days and their posts will come back in 30 days, at which point you will inevitably decide you still don’t care about the crap they share. The other user is not notified that you’ve done this. I looked and this snooze option is already available.

In a rare move, Facebook is making an update that almost no one should dislike. After a few months of testing, the social network has begun rolling out a Snooze button—a discreet way to temporarily block someone’s posts from your feed.

The tool, which removes an individual’s posts from your News Feed for a month, is the perfect solution for the friend who goes on a days-long political tirade, or the cousin who keeps posting baby photos—but their baby hasn’t quite reached the stage of being “cute” yet. In its blog post, Facebook offers two more optimistic Snooze-worthy scenarios: That your uncle is posting too many photos of his new cat, or a friend is “tempting you with endless photos of ramen” on a visit to Japan.

It works like this: To Snooze someone in your News Feed, navigate to the menu icon in the upper right of their post. Then, select “Snooze.” This will hide content from that person, page, or group from your timeline for 30 days. After that, you’ll get a notification that their Snooze period has expired and their posts will reappear, interspersed in your News Feed like normal. Snoozing someone does not affect how or how often he sees your posts in his News Feed.

[From Slate]

My teenage son and just about all the younger people I know either use Instagram and/or Snapchat as their primary social media tool instead of Facebook. The other social networks aren’t really appealing to me as I’m in my 40s and my friends are primarily on Facebook. I try to only check it a couple of times a day (I don’t have it installed on my phone) and I just unfollow and/or restrict access to my posts for the people I’m not ready to unfriend so this snooze button won’t be much use to me. Now if Facebook could institute a “block all ads” function I would be into that. I would pay $10 a month for that and it would make me use Facebook more. I suspect my consumer data and every single thing I’ve liked and viewed along with my entire social network and all their consumer preferences are worth more to Facebook than $10 a month though.

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Three photos directly above credit: davebloggs007/Flickr. Header photo credit: Getty

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44 Responses to “Facebook now has a snooze button for friends: good idea or won’t make a difference?”

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  1. Snazzy says:

    Not sure about this. I mean if I don’t like someone’s content I just unfollow so I don’t see their stuff anymore (unless it’s racist crap then like CB I simply unfriend). I don’t see the value in the snooze feature

    • JustJen says:

      Exactly. I can’t tell you how many people I’ve unfollowed because I didn’t feel like dealing with the drama of unfriending.

    • Erinn says:

      I kind of like it, honestly.

      If someone I know and like is promoting something that is only going to be for a set amount of time I’d totally use that feature.

      I’ve used the snooze notifications on fb group messages before, and that was super handy. So I’m not opposed to snoozing on posts as well.

    • Ozogirl says:

      I agree. I used to unfollow certain friends but then I realized how silly that was and outright deleted them. Most were far right conservatives and I just can’t tolerate those types anymore.

    • suchFun says:

      facebook as connection toolis over. number of active users in declide , so is number of new sign ups. Facebook as marketplace, gaming place or ad place is what it is..

    • shlockOftheNEw says:

      I unfriended an otherwise nice person I knew in high school because she made some lame arsed excuse to “buy” a puppy along w her fleet of 10 dogs. Okay. Maybe I’m “too hard” on people, but first off, sounds hoarder-ish to me- are all those 10 dogs getting enough love? Hm. And wtf- buy a dog- just because you barely raise 10? She lives on a ranch, I guess, but i’m a softy for fur babies- they aren’t “things”. Sigh. So today I thing I could deal w her – after a 30 day hiatus. I guess I’m just too correct? I dunno. I need a 30 day hiatus until I see my own not so woke everyday behavior. Sigh again. It’s easier to freeze than to friend again – so for moody ppl like me, maybe it’s an option?

  2. Esmom says:

    It sounds like a stupid feature. But I guess they gotta look like they’re innovating.

    My relationship with FB is also like/hate. I wish I could sign off forever but the (dumb) fear that I’ll miss something important keeps me on. I haven’t posted in months and comment very rarely. I just scan it occasionally to keep up. Especially as my kids are older and I don’t see people as much on a daily basis. And as someone who works mostly from home, it’s sort of a replacement for the office water cooler chatter. But as you said, the crap has been to outweigh the positives. Not to mention the Russian infiltration takes away from the enjoyment.

  3. Red says:

    I absolutely hate the laughing emoji response to posts. People use this to laugh at serious issues like equality or rape claims, and it’s giving me rage blackouts. I need to get off social media before stupid people give me serious health problems.

    • Esmom says:

      That emoji perfectly captures the essence of political discourse. Isn’t it always almost used as a “ha-ha” taunt to the “other side?” It is horrible.

  4. Tiffany says:

    Wait, Facebook is still hip with the kiddies 😉

  5. Lila says:

    I am actually taking a break from social media right now. I am tired of seeing friends and family pretending to have the perfect life. Also, my sister in law is a psychiatrist and one of the first things she does is tell her depressed patients to get off social media.

    • Miss M says:

      Right?! One of my sisters asked me why I don’t post stuff about my life and photos.
      I told her because everybody else has perfect lives, so I am working hard to make mine perfect ;)

  6. MMC says:

    I don’t see it as some great innovation either. 3/4 of the stuff in my feed is irrelevant that I delete from showing, from ads to friends sharing endless stories, puppy pics, other pages, recipes, so snoozing for 30 days isn’t going to suddenly change my interest in any of that.

    I’m late 40’s and took FB off my phone and tablet over the summer and do not miss it. Check it a couple times a week from my laptop, as others said it’s mostly to check invites and my town has a page that can sometimes be interesting to find out local gossip/happenings.

    Would rather they figure out a way to allow me to set the default to “recent updates” as whatever algorithm they have for my “top news” is WAY off!

    • Tessy says:

      Me too. I used to check it several times a day back when there was some content. Now it’s just ads interspersed with a bit of nothing. The only thing I use it for now is to find out why the road is closed and when it will reopen. Their top news sucks and they won’t let you change the setting and now they keep trying to push an install of some tracking icon to annoy you constantly, even when the page is closed.

  7. reverie says:

    If you want a better facebook experience follow pages about things that interest you. News outlets, artists, books, tv, speakers, subject like photography and astronomy etc. And if you’re interested in current affairs there are usually a lot of support pages for things like Kurdish independence etc. I interact with those pages the most so they show up in my feed more than my annoying cousin. It’s a good way to get links to interesting articles and if I dont have time to read them I just save the link and tada, a whole bunch of reading material on hand whenever I want. And the best part is, some pages like WHO and UNICEF post little tidbits of info I wouldn’t have otherwise known so its a lot like instagram but informational rather than photographic.

    • Sixer says:

      I can imagine that works. That’s how I use Twitter really. And that can be a cesspit but I still quite like it.

  8. Sixer says:

    I only use Facebook because my family organises get-togethers via private message there rather than by email. Not on my phone. Turn up there a couple of times a week to see if the Sister Mafia has left me a message. If not, I bugger off. Very occasionally I might follow a link to a discussion on an issue and leave a comment. But that’s it!

  9. Astrid says:

    I quit Facebook almost 2 years ago. Best thing I did for my mental health.

    • a reader says:

      I finally quit facebook about 5 weeks ago after having been a member since 2006. The first week or two I got FOMO pretty badly, but then suddenly I just didn’t miss it anymore. I’ve gotten so much head space back and the social interactions I have now are more meaningful. Facebook is TRASH and I’m so glad I don’t use it anymore.

      • Petee says:

        I am 54 and I love Facebook.I have gotten to know really nice people and connected with old friends since I was a child.You can block things if you don’t want to see them.Aol and My Space are things of the past.Facebook isn’t going anywhere soon.I don’t know why anyone has a issue with it.

      • Carmen says:

        @Petee: ditto. I reconnected with former friends and in-laws I hadn’t seen or heard from in decades and never expected to see or hear from again.

  10. Savasana Lotus says:

    I can relate. Found out my cousin is anti right to choose. Blocked. A small group of friends from growing up relate every post to Jesus. Blocked (nothing against Jesus). My step sister posts little meaningless memes 10 times a day, I love her but I’ll snooze her. I’m on Facebook to stay in touch with extended family and my 80 yr old dad who is way too political on FB but he’s my dad so he’s not blocked, I just don’t read them. Also it’s great for friends out of state.

  11. M.A.F. says:

    I wish they would fix the “turn off notification” on more posts. Some I can turn off some stuff I comment on while others it’s an “turn on” feature. Kind of annoying.

  12. Red32 says:

    I already used it to hide one friend until after the holiday Younique push is over.

  13. Maria F. says:

    I have always kept the amount of friends limited (around 50-60). I find that it keeps Facebook interesting and manageable. I have never had an issue to not accept requests, I state from the beginning that i keep it very limited to family and friends and people accept that. Or keep sending me invitations that i just ignore. If you get mad because you are not on my social media, then you are not worth my time.
    I have noticed though, that the use of FB is decreasing. A lot of my friends have stopped posting, so my frequency of posts is equally decreasing. I mainly use Instagram, because most of it is just pics of vacations or similiar activities, it is an easy way to keep in touch with people that live at larger distance.

  14. Lindy says:

    I got off FB the day after the election last November. Initially it was hard. I live far from my entire family and most of my closest friends and FB was the simplest way I stayed connected to them all.

    I still have twinges of feeling disconnected and that’s hard. It hasn’t helped my lifelong feeling of being the odd sister out (I’m the oldest of 3 girls and my other 2 sisters are closer in age, closer geographically and closer overall and even at 40 it still sometimes stings. They chat on FB all the time).

    But… After over a year I’m pretty confident that I’m not going back to FB. The benefits for me have been undeniable. My anxiety is lower–I consume the news I want when I’m ready to read about things and can take time to reflect without seeing crazy comments. I’m on my phone less and more present with my kiddo, which makes me a happier person. I’m more inclined to have longer and more interesting conversations with my husband, too (helps that he ditched FB at the same time). And I’ve had to make an effort to make friends here where I live. My close friends who are still in my life are those with whom I text and talk regularly. The ones who have dropped out of my life make me sad, but after a year I’ve realized that my life feels pretty full with the friendships I have. I guess I’m making more of an effort to be a real friend (I used to feel vaguely guilty for dropping superficial comments on people’s posts and photos. Now I’m more likely to send a card in the mail with congrats for something.) I’ve gotten together with 3-4 good girlfriends this year when we’ve had travel that takes us nearby. It’s been really lovely to see them and felt like those visits topped up my emotional tank, if that makes sense.

    I know this probably sounds super smug and I truly don’t mean it to! I just enjoy hearing about the experiences you guys all share on here and this post about the snooze function prompted me to think about how the last year sans FB has been.

    • Esmom says:

      I don’t think it sounds smug at all. In fact it’s inspiring me to ditch it for good!

      • Lindy says:

        It really has been on balance a good thing for me, though not without some tradeoffs. But the positives have outweighed the negatives most definitely, Esmom!

  15. lunchcoma says:

    I could see this being kind of useful for people who aren’t hateful or offensive, but who are getting on your nerves through no fault of their own. People don’t want to stop talking to their cousins or high school friends because they’re way too excited about their tenth anniversary or can’t shut up about the Super Bowl.

    I’m in recovery from alcoholism and bulimia and have never liked social media over the New Year’s period because it’s full of drinking stories and diet plans. I might give the function a whirl and see if it calms some of the chatter down.

  16. Other Renee says:

    Sometimes I check FB and most days I don’t unless something specific comes through in my phone. I never open it on my computer and I’m just not that invested. I don’t care about the snooze button because no one is annoying enough for me to do that to. I don’t really understand the follow/unfollow functions anyway. I have no idea why I have X number of friends but apparently only follow some of them. Does that mean in order for me to see someone’s posts, I not only have to be friends with them but have to follow them as well? Anyway I read somewhere that fb determines whose posts you are anyway. Like we have no control over that and that’s too Big Brother for me.

  17. Betsy says:

    I gave up Facebook when their involvement in Russian propaganda became clear. I haven’t missed it.

  18. Shannon says:

    I enjoy FB; since I moved to rural Kentucky, it helps me keep in touch with my more like-minded friends, helps me stay on top of local events & like someone above said, I work mostly from home so it is a social outlet for me. Plus, I also use it *for* work. But this feature could come in handy for snoozing all the ladies posting about their Pampered Chef/Younique/LulaRoe/whatever “parties” and the “perfect life” people who are totally annoying, but I can’t unfriend for whatever reason. I’m into it. I already used it once after reading this lol

  19. aang says:

    I follow news, artists, authors, musicians, etc that interest me. And my grandmother and aunts, they like pics of my kids, even though they are teens now. I unfollow or unfriend people that aggravate me. My downfall is that I can’t I can’t stay away from comments on the news pages. It makes me hate everyone. So then I come here and feel better to know that not everyone is a hateful idiot. And I like dog/cat pics, who doesn’t?

  20. Littlestar says:

    Because Facebook tends to be made up of friends, family, acquaintances and co-workers it is a captive audience; which essentially makes it no fun. On top of that there’s little to no original content. And 2016 really showed us how many people around us are racist via Facebook’s ability to share oh-so-racist content.

  21. fhm57 says:

    I must have gotten in on the beta of this because I’ve used it for the past month or so. It’s phenomenal!!! I unfollow and I snooze. The snooze is great because maybe in the moment I was really sick of a person’s postings, I was tired and cranky, any number of reasons that actually have very little to do with the people themselves. Usually when I unfollow it’s done, I don’t go back and change that, the snooze is someone getting a timeout.

  22. Chef Grace says:

    I like it. I can ‘talk’ to friends there without my ‘oh my god what is wrong with you’ awkwardness showing.

  23. JennyJenny says:

    There are some amazing aspects to Facebook…
    I have a rare cancer and was able to find an online support group there. Having these “Sisters” there to vent to, answer my questions, etc. was invaluable.
    And I’ll admit, I’m a true sucker for any puppy videos! It’s a great stress reliever.

    • Other Renee says:

      JennyJenny sending you my sincerest prayers for a full recovery. And yes to the puppy videos. Sometimes I just can’t handle so much cuteness! Melts my heart. Funny thing is it’s my daughter’s boyfriend that seems to find them and send them to me by tagging me. Yup, he’s a keeper!

  24. me46 says:

    I actually had to unfollow a bunch of my husband’s extended family because they love them some Donald Trump. Plus they post a ton of “forcing people to stand for the National Anthem and “people should be forced to say Merry Christmas” posts.

  25. lamaga says:

    The thing is, though, that for me, Facebook is essential because my partner and I have friends and family all over the world and it’s not practical to imagine everyone’s going to be available for Skype regularly. I know some baby boomers who yell about getting off technology or just calling someone, but that’s just not practical for us. The sleep button could be useful when I’m only wanting to keep with a handful of people and there are friends I am annoyed by. You can also mute a conversation, too, though. Idk, I guess I don’t care either way, but I don’t think social media is necessarily bad for your mental health.

  26. winterforever says:

    I deactivated my FB account a little over a week ago. I’ve had it with the ads, politics and sports. Definitely helped better my sense of well being getting rid of it.