Honesty time: I have some friends on Facebook whose posts sometimes greatly annoy me. I can unfriend them, which would be the easiest way to rid myself of those posts, or I can “snooze” them, a new feature that Facebook is rolling out today.
Originally spotted by TechCrunch back in September, the social media juggernaut’s “Snooze” button allows users to mute people, Pages, and Groups for 30 days. This is beneficial if you find someone’s posts very annoying, but do not want to unfriend them for whatever reason. As the outlet points out, Snooze also allow Pages and Groups to retain less-active users that would otherwise unlike a page or leave a group.
Once the 30 days are up, Facebook notifies you in case you want to put them to sleep again. At that point, though, you might want to consider unfollowing or unfriending that person.
As TechCrunch accurately points out, however, the Snooze button arrives at a time when Facebook itself took on the question of whether social media is having a negative impact on our lives. As cynical as it might sound, adding something like a Snooze button allows people to better create an environment where you can silence dissenters and make it so you only interact with people that like the stuff you do, that think like you do.
In essence, you’re creating a bubble that reduces your ability to take in new ideas and increase your level of intolerance of those who do not think like you do. For example, with net neutrality becoming a very hot topic as of late, you can easily imagine someone using the Snooze button as a means to distance themselves from others who have opposing viewpoints.
Again, I know that sounds a bit cynical, and I’m sure there are people who will use it to prevent seeing so many cat pictures from that one friend. In today’s day and age, however, it’s not hard to think about the negative repercussions that something like Facebook may have on the mind, even if it’s something as minute as a Snooze button.
On the brighter side, it gives you another level of customization, and you don’t have to use the Snooze button if you don’t want to. If you do, the button is rolling out now across Facebook.