kasey schumacher | social cues | feb. 2018
Social media changing aspects of their platforms is nothing new. It's been happening since the beginning of MySpace. In the past few months and years alone, Instagram added their stories function (which for some reason I like so much better than Snapchat even though it's essentially the exact same thing), Twitter changed from a 140-character limit to 280-character limit per tweet (which was fantastic for ramblers like me), Vine is coming back (hello, 2013 called) and Facebook added a snooze button. Yes, a snooze button.
I'm the type of person who utilizes the snooze button on my alarm multiple times a day — often to the dismay of former college roommates and friends. There's something about knowing you can hit the button and drift blissfully back to sleep for another nine whole minutes. So, when I saw a headline about Facebook adding a snooze button, I was immediately intrigued.
Basically, a snooze button is a way to personalize your news feed even more by quieting the social chatter of your Facebook friends. I think virtually everyone participating on a social media channel in some way shape or form could think of a friend or two (or maybe more) who can get on the annoying side of things. Maybe it's the guy who only posts ridiculously long (seemingly) inspirational quotes. Maybe it's the woman who will NOT stop posting about her lipstick/leggings/health shakes/hair products sales. Maybe it's the parent who shares every nook and cranny of their baby's life. Maybe it's the girl who only posts really vague statements and when people ask what's going on they say, “Oh I don't want to talk about it.” Maybe it's the guy who is on his political soapbox all day every day. Maybe it's the girl who can't go to the gym without sharing it on Facebook. I don't know, I'm just spit balling here ;-)
The problem is, even though you find them annoying, you don't want to unfriend them. Perhaps they're a relative and it would cause way more harm than good to unfollow them. Maybe they post 90 percent annoying things, but you look forward to that 10 percent of actually pertinent information they share? Either way, you know you can't really unfriend them without some consequence. Enter the snooze button.
By snoozing someone, they essentially disappear from your newsfeed for 30 days. You're still friends with them and can still search them and see their profile and updates, but they won't show up while you're scrolling your own newsfeed for an entire month. The person you snooze is not made aware that you snoozed them. It makes no difference on their end if you snooze them or not.
At the end of 30 days, they'll start reappearing in your feed again like they originally did. At that point, you can choose to A.) Continue following them B.) Snooze them again C.) Decide you liked the break and permanently unfollow/unfriend them.
I decided to try this with a few individuals I follow and the results were varied by each person. Sometimes I LOVED the break and chose to snooze them for another 30 days. Sometimes I really missed seeing their updates and decided to take the good with the bad (read: annoying) and not snooze them again. And for one person I decided it was worth it to just completely unfriend them — which sounds harsher than it actually was, I promise. You'd understand if you were me.
So how do you go about doing this? When you see someone post something on your feed and think, “Hey, this might be a good opportunity to use that snooze button” click on the three dots in the upper left-hand corner of their post. Once you click on the three dots, a drop-down of options appears. One option will say, “Snooze XYZ for 30 days.” All you have to do is click that option and bam, it's done. You don't have to do anything else and in 30 days they will start popping up in your feed again.
Changes made to social media sometimes drive me crazy. On other occasions, I absolutely love them. The snooze button is kind of in the middle for me. I don't hate it by any means, but I don't think it's the most revolutionary or beneficial change either. I think it's a useful tool that I will certainly use over the next few months.
Kasey Schumacher is the marketing director for Let Me Be Frank Productions by day and a performer for the troupe by night. When she isn't updating Facebook or singing a 1970s classic, she enjoys running, cooking, questioning final rose picks on 'The Bachelor' and planning overly extravagant trips to Disney.