Make being online fun again: Purge ‘Friends’ from social media

This is what you need to do to make social media acceptable again.

We have finally hit that stage where it is universally acknowledged (like an axiom almost) that social media has become a nasty place.

In other words, it is bad.

Many believe that social media is bad for the privacy and well-being of the society.

Other believe that social media has transformed into something that sinks a bit too much time that people do not have.

The list is truly endless.

However, is there something that can be done about it?

Or is it the way social media should remain for all times to come?

Is there something that people can do on their own to make it good?

Or maybe turn into something that on a lower level of badness?

We think that if people can just follow guidelines and shake up their online life by selecting who they would like to follow and share their information with, they do achieve a lot more good and add a sense of wonder (of sorts) to their social media life

As readers might have expected, this is that guide.

We’ll tell you everything you need to do in order to go about changing your social media experience.

After implementing our suggestions, we hope that the next time our readers open up their Facebook account, they would only see posts that come from people who they actually have an interest in hearing from.

We will try our best to make sure that readers never have to see a dated meme coming from the partner of some other person that they might have met while on a vacation all those years ago.

In this guide, we will also share tips which will help users to post a photo or a video to Instagram and not worry about their grandparents and their boss seeing the post.

So here are the pointers that readers should keep in mind in cleaning up their online social media experience.


Let’s start with Instagram.

Instagram recently developed and rolled out a feature that it termed as Close Friends.

Using this feature, users have the option of creating a complete list of all the people that they are comfortable with seeing each and everything that they post on their official Instagram.

This feature allows users to separate the ones that they are not comfortable with.

These people could fall into any category such as,

  • Family
  • Employers
  • A random individual who one may know from bar crawl some time ago

Instagram now offers users a total of two Stories.

One is the main Story.

And the other one is the Close Friends Story.

So from now one, every time a user wants to share something that is shareable, then he/she has a choice of selecting between the most appropriate story.

It goes without saying that only the user himself/herself has the option of seeing his/her list of Close Friends.

In order to enable this feature, just tap and then hold on the Instagram Story bubble.

After that, the user should select the option that says Edit Close Friends List.

This is where the process of judging people will start.

After the user is finished with this list, the next time he/he has a desire to share something worthy on Instagram as a Story, the platform would give the user a choice between Close Friends and/or Your Story appearing near the bottom of the screen.


Our research shows that such kind of sharing which is selective in nature came onto the scene quite a while ago on Instagram.

If users can make their way to their official profile page and then tap the official menu button located in the top right corner of the screen and then go to Settings and then click on Story controls, they can actually block specific individuals from looking at any of their Instagram Stories regardless of the fact if they are Close Friends or not.

With that said, perhaps we should also mention that one can’t limit the audience for his/her videos and photos posted to one’s Instagram feed in the same manner as Stories.

However, Instagram does allow users to make their own account private.

In this way, none of the Stories that the user has posted to Instagram, or any other content on Instagram, is visible to the whole world as a whole.

Now, that does it for sharing.

However, what should one do about all that Instagram clutter?

Well, when it comes to that trash, Instagram provides users with an option in the shape of three dots that users can tap beside any given post in order to officially unfollow someone.

This means that the user will never ever hear from that specific individual ever again.

There is also an option to mute different users.

The mute option is pretty much the same option as the unfollow option with the exception of the fact that the person the user has muted will never know that the user has disconnected from their profile.

Our research shows that the mute option is also a good option for those who want to keep the direct message line with a given contact but do not want anything to do with the contact’s inane posts.

Perhaps this is a good time to mention the traditional approach of performing a tap on the Following option on one’s official profile.

This would allow the user to browse through the complete list of people who the user is following.

From there the user is free to unfollow anyone and everyone that he/she has grown tired/bored of and/or annoyed by.

Our research shows that if users just set aside a total of ten minutes for this kind of job, their Instagram feed would evolve to a place that they link and want to be thankful for.



The biggest social media platform on the planet is without a doubt, Facebook.

In other words, this social media platform has a lot of experience.

And it knows how to leverage that experience since it has actually long offered Facebook users a host of tools and tricks for the purposes of managing their following count and sharing.

The only problem is that a lot of Facebook users simply do not use these tools very often.

That is why we think it is worth it for every user to take a couple of minutes and dig into the related settings.

This way Facebook users may actually find success in making the entire idea of browsing and/or posting Facebook a lot more appealing.

The thing that many Facebook users tend to ignore is that whenever they want to post anything on Facebook, the platform provides for them an actual button for audience selector.

It is located just beneath the box that allows the user to post something.

The box, most of the time, says Friends.

That is the default option.

However, if the user simply taps that then he/she has the option of blocking specific friends from ever seeing that specific post.

Facebook users also have the option of customizing their list of contacts.

They can sort the list into work colleagues and/or best friends.

Users can even allow everyone to see their post except for one uncle.

Users who want to set up custom lists must do so through the web.

But these lists are available to Facebook users from wherever they would like to post.

The custom list appears in the,

  • Browser version
  • Tablet version
  • Phone version

Users have the option of picking these lists whenever they are sharing something with their friends via Facebook Story as well.

However, it is on the user to make use of this feature.

Facebook won’t do anything on its own.

There was a time when custom lists also allowed users to tailor their new freedoms with only a handful of other people on those feeds.

The unfortunate part about that feature is that Facebook is actually shutting down the feature in order to make sure everybody is present on the user’s main feed.

We think it is a shame.

Facebook is letting Friends list to stay a little longer it seems.

However, users do not have the option of using Friends lists as their alternative news feed anymore.

So what is there instead of that?

Well, it turns out, users have no option but to turn their attention to the three tiny dots which appear at the very top of each and every post in the user’s feed.

These three dots also give users the power and the rights to actually unfollow people.

Using the same option Facebook users can stay friends with certain people but also hide all of their posts from them.

The same three dots also allow users to mute other Facebook users on their list for a total of 30 days.

Finally, they also allow users to hide specific types of advertisements.

Facebook users who want to unfriend another Facebook friend of their comprehensively can do so by tapping through to their Facebook page and then tapping Friends.

Small actions such as muting and/or hiding a small number of people on Facebook each and every time one logs to Facebook can actually do wonders for the user’s mix of Facebook news feed.

What we mean to say is that no one needs to spend hours and hours on such a task.

Of course, we’re assuming here that people that the user actually wants to know about and hear from still have the stamina to post stuff on Facebook.


Now, things are radically different on Twitter compared to Facebook.

In terms of sharing, Twitter users can either go public with all of their official tweets or they can make sure that all of their tweets stay private.

Twitter users can then allow an approved list of Twitter followers to see their posts on Twitter.

Moreover, the user’s Twitter followers cannot retweet such tweets.

Twitter allows users to switch between private and public modes from the platform’s Settings screen.

All that users have to do is to first tap on their avatar and then go to Settings and Privacy and then hit the option that says Privacy and Safety.

Now, keeping that in mind, it should come as a surprise to no one that Twitter, even as a social network, is not the best one.
The reason for that is the lack of granular control over what Twitter users can share and, of course, to whom.
Furthermore, Twitter has so far managed to resist the very tangible temptation to tack on one of its own Stories components.
Users who want to share something that only a select group of other Twitter users can see should check out the Twitter direct messaging option.
With that out of the way, there is also the fact that Twitter allows users to have a healthy amount of flexibility in areas such as tailoring one’s Twitter feed along with picking which accounts and tweets are visible.
If any Twitter user taps the downward-shaped arrow which is placed right next to any given tweet, the platform shows the user the option of unfollowing the person who tweeted.
That would actually break the Twitter connection completely.
Twitter users can also mute other users.
This would mean that the user stays connected to the given Twitter follower but does not see any of the content that they put up on the site.
Now we come to the part about where we talk about Twitter lists.
Twitter lists can provide users with a lot of benefits if they put just a small amount of effort and time into the option.
First, users should tap their Twitter avatar and then pick the option that says Lists in order to edit or make a list.
Readers should note here that the lists would be public on their profile.
Moreover, other Twitter users would actually know when another Twitter user has added them to some list.
Unless of course, the user makes the list private.
This way the user would have to pick out other Twitter users and accounts that they want to include in their lists.
Readers should also note that in order to add anyone to a give list, they have to first go to the person’s specific Twitter profile.
After that, the Twitter user has to tap the icon in the shape of three vertical dots in the top right corner of the screen.
Twitter users can utilize lists for their work colleagues or simply make lists with accounts which are based on a given topic.
Users can even make lists of only those tweeters that they find the most interesting and entertaining.
The thing we want Twitter users to understand here is that they do not have to follow someone on Twitter in order to add them to their own list.
After doing that, the user is free to load up his/her list to Twitter so that it acts as a genuine alternative to his/her main Twitter feed.
Sometimes one does need a break from the main Twitter feed.
Things can get messy there very quickly and before one notices it, the page becomes a deluge of filth.
Twitter also allows users to bookmark lists via the web interface.
No talk of Twitter would be complete with a mention of the TweetDeck.
This feature enables users to set up complete lists but as columns which are separate from the user’s main Twitter feed.
These come complete with useful keyword filters for users who require them.
Keyword filters are useful for users who have a desire to shrink down their official Twitter circle but without ever going through the process of unfollowing people.
In other words, it is ideal for such users.


shutterstock_1132480190And now we come to Snapchat.
In all fairness, Snapchat probably has a hard time attracting users who are actually over the age of 18.
However, regardless of that fact, it actually does get a good number of social sharing features absolutely right.
Perhaps this is also the reason why services such as Instagram spend a lot of resources to copy it.
What readers need to do here is to tap on their avatar and then the shown cog icon.
After that, the Snapchat user would click on View My Story in order to modify people who can view his/her story.
Snapchat enables users to make their Stories either public or private by keeping them to their friends.
Users also have the option of blocking specific Snapchat individuals from every viewing their Snapchat feed as well.
Apart from that, users can also set up individual Stories for particular users as well.
All that the user has to do is to snap something and then hit the button that says send.
After that, the user has to select the option that says Custom which appears right next to Stories.
From there the user should pick out a special group of other Snapchat users or people.
These could include,
• Snapchat influencers
• school friends
• best friends
Once the user does that, the only people who would see the user’s shared story would be the ones in the group.
Snapchat also allows users to give their Custom Stories a custom name.
Anyone that the user includes in the group can share to the user’s latest Story group too.
Of course, we are assuming here that someone wants to share the user’s Story.
So how long does the Story group stay alive?
Well, it continues to exist unless and until the user deletes it.
Hence, users can just keep on sharing different snippets which can last beyond 24 hours but only to a certain selection or collection (depending on how one looks at it) of other people.
Readers should also note here that this feature is a bit different than just sending normal-looking Snapchats to a specific group.
Anything that one shares with a normal group usually disappears pretty much as soon as other people open them.
Some of our readers might recall that the main aim of the creators of Snapchat was to build a platform around the central idea of more and more personal sharing (and make money as well).
What we mean to say is that no one should find it surprising that Snapchat offers so many options for a user who wants to share stuff.



Zohair A. Zohair is currently a content crafter at Security Gladiators and has been involved in the technology industry for more than a decade. He is an engineer by training and, naturally, likes to help people solve their tech related problems. When he is not writing, he can usually be found practicing his free-kicks in the ground beside his house.
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