If Simon was a color, he’d be green. When Amanda reincarnates, she’ll be a dog. If Max was a Friends character, he’d be Ross. If this sounds familiar, chances are that your Facebook home page is filled with random quiz results from your friends. While these apps may entertain some people, for most of us it is one of the major reasons to leave the quiz-flooded Facebook. Let’s take a look at some ways to make Facebook less of a waste of time and more into what it was intended to be: a tool to keep in touch with friends.

1. The “I don’t care” button
If you’re ever annoyed by a viral yet pointless Facebook app, you can easily hide it from your Facebook home page. Hover over a news item that was created by that app, click ‘Hide’ and choose the second option. Note that you can also use the first option to hide this person’s activities from your news feed without removing them as a friend. To unhide apps, people or pages, click ‘Edit Options’ at the bottom of the home page.


2. Stop unwanted applications from sending you notifications
Your notification list can end up looking quite dramatic if you don’t open it for a week. If you’ve added a lot of apps, you can pile up over 30 notifications in a week without much effort. The solution is simple: block unwanted apps from sending you notifications. To do this, open the notifications pop-up and click ‘See All’. On the right, you’ll see a list of approved apps. Uncheck apps you don’t want to receive notifications from and it’s all settled. From now on, you’ll actually be able to keep track of comments on your status updates again.

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3. Keep tabs on your friend list
Don’t add friends recklessly. A big friends list implies that you have to be very careful when sharing thoughts or photos on Facebook. You may want to keep your friends list down to a maximum of 100 people with whom you’re comfortable sharing your life with. Alternatively, you can create lists of people that you want to share different things with. I have a list called ‘No status updates’, in which I put people I kinda sorta know but with whom I don’t want to share my status updates. For a full list of permissions you can grant or deny to groups of friends, go to Settings > Privacy Options and click on Profile.


4. No more friend requests from people you don’t know
It seems that no matter how much Facebook friends you have, there are always people – including ones you don’t even know – that want to add you. To stop this stream of friend requests, you should consider hiding yourself from Facebook’s search engine. You can enable this feature in Settings > Privacy Options. Once you’re on that page, choose Search and select ‘Only Friends’ from the Search Visibility drop-down menu. You’re now hidden from public searches on Facebook.


5. Consider switching to Facebook Lite
If you just want to keep Facebook around to occasionally check what your friends are doing, Facebook Lite may be the thing for you. It’s basically Facebook without the bells and whistles, so you won’t be bothered with stupid applications and quizzes.


Hopefully, these tips helped turn your Facebook into a much more enjoyable place. Enjoy your optimized Facebook!