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Facebook Snooze button: Interesting move after it advised balanced use of social media

Facebook seems to agree with your mom that too much of it isn't good for you.

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Highlights

  • Facebook introduced a Snooze button this week

  • The feature allows you to mute out friends you don't want updates from.

  • Coincidentally, last week Facebook spoke against prolonged use of social media.

In the age of social media, every once in a while you realize that you have connections on Facebook that you don’t necessarily want to have. It’s quite likely there’s someone who pesters you with their divergent views. It’s also quite likely that you have opposite tastes and leanings in politics. Or worse, you have a troll, the constant gadfly right within your network. We agree, it can get really caustic.

If this person happens to be an acquaintance for many years, probably even family, then it gets really awkward to block them or unfriend them. Facebook seems to have heard you, and helps you remain connections, minus the toxic updates.

Facebook has now announced the Snooze button that lets you do precisely that for 30 days. Blocking friends used to be convenient in the past. You could simply get rid of toxicity, and then the moment you felt things were better, simply unblock. Then somewhere down the road, blocking a contact meant that you ceased to be friends anymore. I believe it’s a step in the right direction. Taking a break from these social media sites is what we need. But since most of us are so deeply entrenched into it, may be just staying away from triggers is what would work out best.

So the next time a friend gets married, has a kid or goes out on a vacation, and constant updates are irritating you, just ‘snooze’ them. Most importantly, since it’s election season in a few states in India currently, watercolor discourse is turning out to get largely political. So for me, I’d rather make do with the honeymoon updates and vacation albums over political banter, mudslinging, and personality attacks. Who has the time and energy for so much impassioned negativity.

According to Shruthi Muraleedharan, Product Manager at Facebook, “With Snooze, you don’t have to unfollow or unfriend permanently, rather just stop seeing someone’s posts for a short period of time. The people, Pages, and groups you snooze will not be notified. You will be notified before the Snooze period is about to end and the setting can also be reversed at any time.”

It’s interesting that in another blog post, David Ginsberg who is Director of Research at Facebook, and Moira Burke, Research Scientist at Facebook questioned whether spending too much time on social media is good for you. Several media reports emerged as a result of this post. And it was common thought that many have been saying all along. Too much consumption on any product, goods or information could probably be reason for concern. But the fact that Facebook was initiating a conversation around the concern was both commendable as well as surprising.

  • Published Date: December 18, 2017 12:02 PM IST