Top tips to avoid Facebook overwhelm

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If you are anything like me you belong to a fair number of Facebook Groups and they have a bit of habit of multiplying when you aren't looking - a bit like rabbits.

It's always good to have a bit of a declutter every now and again (whether we are talking about digital clutter or the contents of your knitting bag) and looking at your use of Facebook groups is a good start. A few months ago Facebook discontinued it's Groups App which many people liked to use to avoid being overwhelmed by the Facebook timeline. Since then I've heard a few people say that they miss group posts or they feel overwelmed by the number of notifications they get.

It's a shame to leave a group just because you get too many notifications - after all - the more active a group is the more likely it is to be of benefit to you. So here are a few tips I have found to be helpful to keep on top of Facebook and make it work for you rather than the other way round.

1. Turn off notifications for fast moving posts or ones where you don't want to receive any updates to it. Look for the 3 little dots in the top right corner of the post and tap it to turn off notifications. A case in point, a group member may have a new baby or puppy and you want to like it or add a "congratulations". With the best will in the world though you don't want or need to see notifications from 200 people all saying the same thing. Turning off notifications is perfectly sensible in this case.

This also works for posts you see which you have no interest in (and don't want to see again) or posts that you think might be contentious and you don't want to engage in that particular debate.

2. Turn off notifications for the group altogether. I know of a few people who do this for all their groups - keeping their timeline limited to updates from friends/family, news etc. To do this just go to the groups tab across the top of the page and you can see all the ones you have joined. Select a particular group (it's right click on my Windows PC and press/hold on my android phone) and you see a few different options one of which is to turn off notifications. You are still a member of the group and any time you are ready to interact with the group you just go to the group tab, click on it and you'll see all the recent updates.

3. Browse by "Photos" rather than "Discussion". If the group is a very visual one with lots of photos being posted - the Everyday Knitter Facebook group is a prime example of this with over 75% posts being accompanied by a photo - this can be very helpful. Just select the "Photos" tab at the top of the page. This is really handy if you are trying to track down that elusive cabled sweater you saw someone had posted 2 days ago.

4. Conduct a regular group audit. It's perfectly reasonable to go through your groups every now and again and consider leaving the ones that you haven't visited in the last 2 or 3 months. You can always rejoin if you find that you miss it. Over time you will get a feel for what number of groups is right for you and will know when you are starting to feel a bit overwhelmed. For me I'm in around 30-35 groups but probably only actively participate in 5 or 6. When going through joining requests for the EK Facebook Group I regularly see people who belong to over 500 groups - the mind boggles at how they keep up and I can only assume that most of them have their notifications very firmly turned off.

So, that's my short, sanity-saving list. If you have any top tips for for keeping the Facebook beast under control do hit comments and let me know.