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How to Have Even More Fun on Facebook

Now that we midlifers have the run of Facebook since all the teens have ditched it (supposedly), we should be having fun, fun, fun ‘til Mark Zuckerberg takes the Facebook away! (That’s not about to happen, by the way, since Facebook remains the largest social network by a long shot.) So forget worrying about your Facebook Page likes and reach for a moment, and give your Facebook Profile some love.

How to Have Even More Fun

1. Create your own Facebook group. Most people reading this blog belong to The Women of Midlife. What do we do there? Post our blogs, talk about things. It’s a big group, a community — which is why it’s so much fun and so supportive. Now think small. A few friends with a common interest, that’s a community too. Since you and your BFFs can use a Facebook group as a “meetup.” Are you all interested in DIY crafts? Call your group “DIY Wanna-Be.” Use the settings to make it “secret” (only the people you put into the group will know it exists) or “closed” (people can see that your group exists and ask to be admitted, but can’t see any content). I have one friend who has created a group for her friends who practice yoga every day. Another friend set up a group where about 30 people she knows share pictures and stories of culinary disasters.

2. “Like” Facebook pages so that they will show up in your newsfeed. I get a lot of my newspaper-type news from my Facebook feed. I have liked the pages from the major media outlets I read, as well as museums, brands, political figures — you name it. We all know how “pay-for-play” has killed Page reach. But I’ve found that if I interact on a Page, it is likely to show up in my Timeline feed. I love that among the updates from my friends about their cats and dogs, I also find delicious pictures of Oreo cookies or information about special shows at nearby museums. I can’t control what Pages I see, but those that come my way provide a nice sprinkling of “ah.”

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No need to fill out these boxes on your profile. Facebook uses them to find out more information about you.

3. Hide the boring or infuriating. As we get closer to the political primaries, we’re all going to be seeing those posts. You don’t have to unfriend irritating people. For now, go to their profile and choose the “acquaintance” setting. That means they’ll still see everything you post (unless they’ve made you an acquaintance too!), but you won’t see anything from them in your feed. This is also a perfect solution for all the people you never liked back in high school but are nonetheless asking to be Facebook friends.

4. Switch up your viewing options. Did you know you can choose to see either “Top Stories” or “Most Recent?” The default is “Top Stories,” but if you switch to “Most Recent,” you’ll view posts you haven’t seen. Then switch back to “Top Stories,” and you’ll see different “Top Stories.” I think that no one but the engineers at Facebook understands how the algorithm works, but I know that I can surface interesting content by switching back and forth. You’ll find the option in the upper left hand corner of your Timeline, under “News Feed.”

facebook, social media, facebook posts, facebook friends

How to set your Timeline from “Top Stories” to “Most Recent.”

5. Create great posts and engage. Posting comments on your friends’ posts spurs conversation. And if you post something cool, you’re likely to get fun responses. A text post like “Monday, Monday” might get some funny comments. An unusual picture with a caption (did you spot a funny sign in the mall?) will draw out conversation (as will anything controversial!). When your friends post, post back, and tag them. (Put @ before typing their name, and they’ll get a notification.)

6. Use the “Add What You’re Doing or Feeling” option when you post. Yes, it does seem kind of dumb, but the options are amusing. You’re friends are likely to smile when they see what you’ve added. You can write your own and choose one of their emojis.

By the way: it’s pretty much not true that young people are all off of Facebook. My college undergraduate students all have accounts. They may be sheepish about it; they may like Snapchat better. But they’re still on Facebook. And they read what their parents post.

Linda Bernstein

Linda Bernstein is a professor, writer, social media consultant, and proud Baby Boomer. She has written hundreds of articles for dozens of national and international newspapers, magazines, and websites. Instagram: wordwhacker

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Leisa A. Hammett

Sunday 29th of March 2015

Excellent. Thank you. I've already shared this twice and will share it again. Shared it with another blogger group that's local and that I help lead, shared on my daughter, Grace Goad | Autism Art, that I manage and will reshare on my page via hers. Some of this I knew, some not. I am enjoying the well-written, fresh, authoritative, quality content of Midlife Boulevard! (I don't give out compliments unless I really mean them!) Thank you!

Now...QUESTION: when I find annoying people in my feed or when they are strangers whom I've allowed to friend me (yeah, yeah, I know,) I simply "unfollow." I rarely "unfriend" anyone. But I thought the solution was "unfollowing." I had not heard about making them an acquaintance. Care to elaborate, please?

Also, I really need help with my pro pages. I had hoped I'd get some of that at the conference or from my local group but haven't yet. So, I'd love any articles on those, too. Thanks, again! xo

Andee Zomerman

Saturday 28th of March 2015

Hi Linda, I am a part of the midlife group. Excited you are on this site as a regular. Monday, on my radio show, I'll be talking about social media. If you're free anytime from noon-12:30 pacific time, would you like to share these on air?

If the notice is too short, may I read this list and credit you?

Annah Elizabeth

Friday 27th of March 2015

We can certainly learn something new every day! I'm looking forward to seeing who and what appear when I toggle back and forth between "Recent" and "Top" stories! And a secret club for midlifers?! My brain is in overdrive! Thanks for these tips!

Linda Bernstein

Friday 27th of March 2015

It's so odd, Annah. But it seems to surface new stuff. Tell us what you find.

Carolann Iadarola

Friday 27th of March 2015

Some great tips for sure! I also make sure I add pages that I like to my notifications list so I'm sure to see their updates even if I didn't get a chance to comment on them. I also enjoy adding posts to my "saved" list for reading them when I have some extra time!

Linda Bernstein

Friday 27th of March 2015

That is an important point to get notifications from pages so you don't miss out.

Antionette Blake

Thursday 26th of March 2015

thanks for sharing this, perhaps I will spend more time on FB now as I was getting annoyed with all the changes!

Linda Bernstein

Thursday 26th of March 2015

That's something interesting: When Facebook forces its changes on everyone, we all complain a lot. But then we just get used to it. Some of the changes have been really good.

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