I don’t want to be that person — really, I don’t.
But Facebook’s just-launched Snapchat clone has turned me into a ruthless and deeply unforgiving friend deleter.
Since rolling out “Messenger Day” a week ago, the update has wreaked havoc on my formerly uncluttered Messenger feed.
Much like Snapchat and Instagram Stories, “Day” allows you to share photos and videos that can be customized with text, stickers and frames. But, there’s one problem — my Day feed is brimming with stories by Facebook friends I barely know and should have deleted a very long time ago. And, I cannot stand it.
I first became aware of the issue the day after Day launched as I scrolled through the posts in the banner at the top of the app’s “Home” tab. First up was a photo of an artisanal sourdough loaf posted by a guy in the year above me at high school who I never actually spoke to. Sorry, Nelson, we may have traveled on the same school bus but I don’t really care about your baking endeavours. I brutally unfriended Nelson and I didn’t look back.
The posts kept on coming. I scrolled through a seemingly endless stream of photos of cats, dogs, children — all of whom were unrecognisable to me. I was alarmed. Who on earth were all these people?
I immediately went on an unfriending spree. If I was going to have to see photos of baked goods, I’d rather have the reassurance of knowing the person who’s tirelessly kneaded the dough. As I manually unfriended a very sizeable portion of my Facebook friends, I began to wonder why I hadn’t had this problem before on Snapchat or Instagram.
The crucial difference lies in the nature of my relationship with my connections on these three apps. My Snapchat pals are a carefully curated group of close friends, family and — if we’re being totally honest — ex-boyfriends. They know me and I know them.
And, on Instagram, I’ve deliberately only followed people I’m actually friends with, save the odd celebrity and #foodporn blog. Again, this means that I, thankfully, only see Stories that are meaningful to me. Like, for example, cute photos of my colleagues’ cats (lookin’ at you Annie Colbert).
Being confronted with the incremental updates of hundreds of randos’ daily lives is A LOT.
When it comes to my Facebook friends, however, it’s a whole other story. I have 738 Facebook friends, which might not sound like loads in the grand scheme of things. But, being confronted with the incremental — and, often, mundane — updates of hundreds of randos’ daily lives is A LOT.
Ultimately, Snapchat and Instagram Stories are for sharing little things that happen during your day that don’t necessarily merit a permanent post on Instagram or Facebook. But, sharing photos of what I had for lunch or the post-work cocktail I’m drinking just aren’t going to be appealing to the girl I met in a hostel in Madrid one summer or the boy I fancied when I was 13 years old.
As a semi-sociable person, I don’t really want to have to delete the vast majority of my Facebook friends. (Also, I’m busy and that would take, like, a lot of time.)
Thankfully, there is one way to get around this situation. Messenger Day allows you to choose who you want to share your story with as you’re sharing it. That means next time you want to share photos of baked goods with your friends, you can select the Facebook Friends who’d be genuinely interested to see it.
Here’s how to do it. Hit the arrow in the bottom right corner to add your photo or video to your Day. Then, click on the three dots next to “My Day” to select who can view it. Hit “custom” and select from your connections who you want to share your Day with.
It’s seems knowing your audience is now more crucial than ever before. Next time you feel the urge to share something on Messenger Day, it’s worth asking yourself one rather tough question: “Who cares?”