September 20, 2017
Are you being bombarded on Facebook with jealousy-inducing updates, all posted by that one friend we all have? Of course you don’t want to unfriend or permanently unfollow them because you do care, but if you see one more photo of them posing on a pristine beach with a coconut shell full of alcohol you won’t be responsible for your actions…
Facebook to the rescue! The platform has started testing a new function that means you can hit the snooze button on your friends, roll back over into your rainy September life, and pretend they’re not having more fun than you.
You’ll be able to snooze your friend for 24 hours, a week or a month, depending on how much of a break you need. You’ll still have the option to permanently unfollow a friend, but Facebook are probably hoping that having the snooze options will significantly decrease the number of permanent unfollows they see.
As a lover of social media I’m definitely not telling you to turn your back on your profiles, but here’s the important thing about this new function – in our oversharing and over-communicative world, having a break from your friends is no bad thing. We tend to follow a core group of our friends on every platform going, meaning we over-saturate ourselves with the minutiae of their lives – from a grumble about their daily commute, to an update about their job, to a photo of their dinner, to an inane rant about the customer service they received from an Uber driver on the way home.
Sometimes our friends love doing similar things to us, but sometimes their likes and interests are polar opposites to ours (and that’s okay – variety is the spice of life! Opposites attract!). That does mean we sometimes find ourselves rolling our eyes and quickly scrolling through 45 photos of a festival we’re not interested in, or we’ll get unreasonably grumpy when our friends lives are going swimmingly whilst we feel like we’re sinking.
And in those situations it’s acceptable, and perhaps healthy for your long-term friendship, to hit the snooze button for a little while, sit back and concentrate on yourself or another friend. If you did, how do you think that next chat you have with them would go? Be it via Messenger, WhatsApp, good old phone call or even face-to-face, it’ll be all the more interesting and a thousand times more engaging if you don’t already know what they’re about to tell you because you’ve already seen all the photos.
So, for the sake of your friendships, go forth and embrace the snooze button!