How to use Facebook’s new ‘Snooze’ feature

If you’re a snooze button addict, you probably know you’re just delaying the inevitable. However, it can be difficult to resist the lure of just a few more minutes of sleep, and then a few more. Suddenly, it’s 10 minutes until you’re due to leave, and you’re struggling to make it out the door on time.

The snooze feature has also been incorporated into other aspects of our lives. For example, whenever I get a reminder of something on my to-do list via my Google calendar, I can forget about it for awhile by “snoozing” it away.

snooze button photo
Flickr | Jellaluna

Now, Facebook has launched a “Snooze” feature for your newsfeed. That’s right. If there’s a person, page or group that’s on your nerves, you can temporarily unfollow them for a period of up to 30 days. Your old college roommate posts too many cat pictures, but you can’t bring yourself to permanently unfollow her—or worse, unfriend her completely.

facebook photo
Getty Images | Dan Kitwood

Now you have the option to simply take a break.

If there’s someone in your feed feed who’s ripe for snoozing, you’ll find it in the right-corner drop-down menu on their posts.

Here’s how it appears on desktop:

Facebook screen shot

If you don’t see it yet, you will in the upcoming weeks as the feature rolls out.

After a month, your ban will expire, and they’ll pop back up in your newsfeed. If it’s still too much, you can elect to snooze them again, just like with your alarm in the morning.

The introduction of this new feature comes at a time when Facebook is facing a lot of backlash, even from those formerly involved with the company.

facebook photo
Getty Images | Peter Macdiarmid

Last week, Chamath Palihapitiya, formerly Facebook’s vice president for user growth, told a Stanford Graduate School of Business audience, “I think we have created tools that are ripping apart the social fabric of how society works.”

Napster co-founder and early Facebook investor Sean Parker has also been vocal about the dangers he sees tied to social media’s “validation feedback loop,” which drives us to seek engagement online but actually provides very little long-term gratification.

facebook photo
Getty Images | Omar Havana

While it’s unclear as to whether the snooze option will influence the quality of our online activities, the move definitely appears to be part of Facebook’s strategy to address widespread concerns about the damage social media can cause. The social media company now has a Compassion Team in place to help the platform better support challenging periods in users’ lives, such as bullying and breakups.

The snooze button could be a handy tool for maintaining relationships. After all, distance makes the heart grow fonder. So rather than unfollowing or unfriending your oversharing next-door neighbor altogether, you can just take a breather.

What do you think? Is there anyone on your feed that you could use a vacation from, or is it rude to block out a “friend,” even temporarily?