Facebook Makes Changes, Your Notifications Get Changed (again)

by on April 2, 2013

in consumer

Facebook Logo from SimplyZestyAh, another Facebook change strikes again.  Or so I must assume.

I recently started getting pummeled with email and timeline updates for stuff I’ve never seen before from groups and pages I follow.  Suddenly one group I follow started posting to my follow timeline and I started getting those emails.  Way too many of them.

I follow groups so when the thought takes me, I go visit and see what’s up.  But this one group was crazy busy!  Hence all the emails.

This reminds me of a recent change that Microsoft made to my desktop software settings against my will.  But I digress, that’s another story.

So how do I turn (BACK) off these pesky notices?

For me, I went to my “Account Settings,” and in notifications, you can see your “Group Activity” settings and change them there.

Also under notifications, you can see your “Email” notifications.  For me, I see where my setting was set to “All notifications,….” despite the fact that would be the last setting I’d turn on voluntarily.

But this is Facebook.

Facebook is free to the user and is a service provided with the premise of making billions off you and your network of friends.  So we have to take the good with the bad.  Really, we do.  We don’t have a choice.  If we paid for the service, that would be one thing.

But we don’t.

So I changed my email notifications to “Important notifications about you or activity you’ve missed” and I’ll see what I get.

I might be overdoing it a bit, but we’ll see.

As it is, the email notifications for replies to my personal timeline have such a huge lag that it almost doesn’t matter if I get them or not.

(Looking at the overall “Notifications Settings” screen, I might tinker and leave my Email set to Most, and then I can filter out specific noise like the groups and such below that.)

While I was at it, I decided to review my “Blocking” options on my account.  Whew, my lengthy list of games blocked is still intact.

(Yes, you can block game app notifications.  Well, games in general.  I got seriously sick of my 100 friends playing 200 games (ea) and me getting notified of each and every move they were making, and about all of their digital achievements in each game.  I really don’t care that Craig bought farm full of worms.  Or that they grew large.  No… don’t need that.)

You have to specifically choose which game, but that’s fine.  As my ‘friends’ played them and I saw updates, I went off and selectively smite the updates.

While we’re here in this section, I also checked what Apps are still authorized to access my account “for me.”  (IE: Posting.)

I don’t let too many apps or games access my account.  When you sign up for that game or service app, you’re allowing that app to access your content and some basic information about EVERYONE in your Facebook network.

Or, as FB puts it,

“People on Facebook who can see your info can bring it with them when they use apps. This makes their experience better and more social. Use the settings below to control the categories of information that people can bring with them when they use apps, games and websites.”

Seriously?  Info people bring with them?

Since I look out for my family and close friends, I am pretty careful what I let access my account info.

Under “Apps others use,” you can set what “people bring with them” when they sign up for things.  It seems I’ve been here already and it’s tied down fairly well already.

You can see other options in this Apps panel section that you might want to tinker with, like “Instant personalization,” and the like.

Check out the “Ads” section too.  There are a few options you might also be interested in modifying.

While tooling around, I saw this warning pop up from Facebook…

“Remember: Things you hide from your timeline still appear in news feed, search and other places on Facebook.”

Hmm… so in some cases, it doesn’t matter what you’re trying to do.

Again, free service that manages to make billions off of you.  Cool how marketing and information sales and advertising work, huh?

If we all logged in and aggressively shut down our Facebook options, it would probably go out of business, so don’t be too critical of the service, especially if you like what it does provide and you find yourself using it heavily.

Despite what I’ve alluded to in the above article, I’d still say Facebook is a great way to stay in touch for friends and family.  If you’re truly concerned about the privacy issues, you can always lock down most options, leave the personal bio information* out of your account page, and connect to ONLY your select family and friends.

*I’m still surprised how many folk put their personal information in FB, including phone #., address, etc..

As one crime prevention site once said, checking in at that restaurant several miles away from home is an awesome way to let crooks know your home is available to be ransacked… at their leisure.

It does seem extreme, but apparently some folks have been nabbed with this practice.  Then again, my suspicion is that they didn’t lock down their content, the entire world could follow them, and they put their personal details in their bio page.

That’s a whole lot of bad luck piled up in one spot.

Be careful, be smart and have fun with Facebook.  It can still be useful and fun, regardless.  Not to mention, it might be replacing my Google RSS feed Reader that’s going away.

-Bruce S.

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