We’ve all been there. You’re trying to finish a project for your boss, but you keep getting text messages and banner notifications about your latest Facebook post. You try your hardest to resist the siren call of social media, but you can’t seem to keep yourself from reading every comment and obsessing over every like that comes through. If only there were a way to block all of those notifications so you can buckle down and focus on your job.
What it Means to Block Facebook
First of all, you’re not really blocking Facebook (although some people refer to it that way). You’re only blocking Facebook notifications from reaching you. If you’re self-control is weak enough, you can always pull up a web browser and find the site in a heartbeat. However, it may be easier to resist the temptation if you’re not hearing from Facebook every five minutes.
To be clear, this is not the same thing as blocking an individual on Facebook or changing your privacy settings. Changing your notifications will not change how much access other people have to your profile. It simply means you don’t have to hear about it.
Of course, Facebook, in their unending attempts to insert themselves into every aspect of our lives, won’t let you prevent notifications completely. They do, however, allow you to “choose what you’re notified about” in their notification settings. In this way, you can dramatically cut back on your Facebook notifications and prevent the most intrusive notification forms.
Adjusting Your Notification Settings
Access your notification settings via the following steps:
- Login to Facebook.com.
- Click the down-facing arrow in the upper right hand corner of the page.
- Select Settings.
- Select Notifications on the left hand side.
Now you’re looking at your various notification options. Some of these notification features can be turned off entirely. Others can only be adjusted. Take a minute to explore, or check out our crash course below.
Notification Settings Options
All of the following notifications only apply to when Facebook is open. You will not receive these notifications on your phone or desktop if Facebook is closed or you are logged out.
- Sounds – Turn on and off sounds notifying you of Facebook messages and other notifications.
- About You – You can’t adjust these notifications. If Facebook is open, you will receive notifications when you receive a message or are tagged in a post. You can adjust some tagging notifications (see below).
- Birthdays – Turn on and off notifications when a friend has a birthday today.
- On This Day – This refers to Facebook memory posts that remind you of posts and status updates from the past. Turn notifications for these on and off or opt to just see the highlights.
- Close Friends Activity – You can elect to add some of your Facebook friends to a list of “close friends.” You can choose to be notified by email, by facebook and email, or not at all when your close friends are up to things.
- Tags – Get notified when anyone tags you, when friends and friends of friends tag you, or just when friends tag you. You can’t turn them off altogether.
- Pages You Manage – Select separate notification settings for each page. Turn notifications on or off, or choose “digest.” Digest will give you the “gist” of what’s going on with your page.
- Group Activity – Select separate notification settings for each group. Choose to be notified for all posts, friends’ posts, just the highlights, or nothing at all.
- App Requests and Activity – Turn notifications on and off by app.
- Live Videos – Get notified (or not) whenever interesting or popular live videos are happening. You can also opt to leave notifications on but turn off suggestions. This means you’ll only be notified when friends and pages you follow are hosting live videos.
- New Local Pages – Get notifications about new business and professional pages from your area…or don’t.
- Marketplace – Marketplace allows you to buy and sell used items on Facebook. Get notifications about items you’re interested in. Toggle notifications on and off per the type of notification.
These notifications only pertain to the email address associated with your Facebook profile. As with the Facebook notifications above, you can’t turn these notifications off completely. However, you can dramatically limit the number of notifications you receive.
- General Email Notifications – Choose whether you want all notifications to come to your email, only important notifications, or only notifications regarding your account and security. What qualifies as “important” you ask? It’s unclear. However, anything pertaining to the safety of your account should be covered by the third option.
- Live Video Settings – Turn on and off notifications about conversations on your live videos.
- Offer Settings – Turn on and off notifications about saved offers.
- Notifications You’ve Turned Off – Notification types listed here are notifications that you currently have turned off but could turn on. If you turn one on, it will disappear from the list. How do you turn it off again? Good question.
Desktop and Mobile
These notifications apply to your computer and mobile devices whether you have Facebook open or not.
- Browser Notifications – Look here to sync Facebook with your active browser. Turning this on will allow banners to pop up on your computer to tell you about what’s going on with your Facebook friends.
- Mobile Notifications – This is pretty much the same as above, only instead of banners, the notifications pop up on your mobile home screen.
- Notifications You’ve Turned Off – As with the email notifications, you can turn on any of these notifications you’ve got turned off. How you turn them off again is anybody’s guess.
This is the quite possibly the most annoying of all the new Facebook notifications. Unless you have unlimited texting, these messages could be costing you money. The last thing you want is to be hassled by Facebook AND have a huge bill to contend with. Thankfully, it’s also easy to turn off.
- Select whether you want the notifications on or off entirely.
- Toggle on and off different types of notifications you’d like to receive in text message
- Comments and posts from others on your timeline
- Friend requests and confirmations
- “All other SMS notifications” (whatever that means)
Other Ways to Block Out Distractions
If your goal is to limit Facebook so you have some quality time with homework, work work, or studying, then consider trying some other methods to prevent distractions and buckle down.
- Work offline. – If it’s possible, shut off your router and turn off your phone. Of course, this may not be a viable option if you need email and the internet to get things done.
- Make a to-do list. – Break down your work or study tasks into easily digestible chunks. Focus on getting one thing done at a time.
- Don’t Get Stuck. – If a specific task is kicking your butt, leave it and focus on something else. The more you muddle over something, the more easily distracted you’ll be.
- Incentivize yourself. – Reward yourself for getting certain tasks done or getting through your to-do list completely. Wait until the end of the day to enjoy your incentives.
Social media browsing can be a hard habit to break, but not impossible. Consider placing similar limitations on Twitter, Instagram, and more.