10 Facebook Notifications I Ignore

For a place I once treated like a social bible, I now scroll through Facebook genuinely gobsmacked by how little compels me. It’s all exceedingly terrible. And I have no one to blame but myself, for curating such a trash pile, and Facebook, for enabling it.

Nothing better exemplifies this dumpster than my Facebook notifications tab — little red icons liable to make my whole damn day in 2008 which now serve as bite-sized, nightmarish reminders of my compulsive need to click them. Once I do, it’s one disaster after another. Each notification is more useless than the last. The exponential nature of it is almost impressive.

I’m sorry to anyone this hurts, but I was more invested in some random lady’s Candy Crush game on the subway this morning, which I spied on without her permission, than I’ve been in any Facebook notification I’ve received in the last five years. In an effort to shed light on a dark, dark place, I’ve expounded upon my 10 greatest hits below.

1. Someone I don’t know posted on the wall of an event I’m not going to


I care more about what Candy Crush Lady ate for breakfast, frankly. This one doubles down on uselessness if the event is being thrown by someone I don’t have the faintest memory of knowing. I still might read the post, though.

2. A kid from my college dorm invited me to like the page for his most recent entrepreneurial endeavor


Based on Facebook notifications alone, I can safely assume every dude that lived in my dorm is now the owner of several defunct real estate businesses/DJ monikers.

3. Someone I haven’t talked to in six years, someone I literally don’t remember and three other people I don’t care about at all have birthdays today, wish them well!


This one wins the frequency award. I get a fresh one nearly every day. It keeps me humble. I never wish them well.

4. Someone I do know and care a lot about had a birthday yesterday



5. My coworker from five years ago became friends with someone I don’t know


Setting: Facebook board room

FB Employee #1: We should make sure to notify people when one of their friends becomes friends with someone. Literally anyone.

FB Employee #2: Wow, how useful. Ship it!

6. Reminder: an event I felt too bad to decline is coming up


Reminder: You should really say yes to more stuff you piece of shit.

7. Someone incredibly random shared a link I don’t care about


To be clear, they did not share it with me, but rather with everyone. Why I’m receiving a personal notification about it and how that makes me feel is between me and my therapist.

8. Someone I don’t know also commented on my friend’s post


Translation: No good deed goes unpunished.

9. Someone changed the cover photo of a group I was invited to join but never responded to out of guilt


This is fun in that it kills two birds with one stone by wasting my time with something that affects me not at all and by reminding me that I’m a total wimp and don’t deal with invitations like an adult.

10. Literally every friendiversary that’s ever occurred


Things I care about:

-My cat
-World peace

Things I don’t care about:

-The anniversary of when two people I don’t know very well became friends on a fucking SOCIAL MEDIA NETWORK.

Illustrations by Maria Jia Ling Pitt.

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  • Hilary

    ALLLLLLLL OF THESE. I think about deleting my Facebook at least once a week. It’s so so so so so dumb.


    Charmaine Ng
    Architecture & Lifestyle Blog

  • Joella Almeida

    Perhaps this is just bad management of your own account. You can unfollow people who you don’t remember and don’t want to be reminded of. The notifications on FB have gotten better in that they give you more control, you can now ‘turn off notifications’ for a lot of apps, comments, pictures and even things you’ve commented on but don’t want to be updated about. I mean, they have even taken a stand to curate better feeds because they acknowledge their site has been a vehicle for the spread of fake news. Your news feed represents you, if you don’t want to see/hear something, delete it, unfollow, take action on it

    • Haley Nahman

      Oh 100% agree, it’s completely my fault

      • Haley Nahman

        I just don’t care enough to fix it

    • Adrianna

      My software-engineer boyfriend also tried to argue this, but that is just way too much work. I tried deleting people who I either no longer had a relationship with or whose posts triggered me, but I still inevitably felt irritated every time I logged on. Ironically, my boyfriend deactivated his account a couple of months after me.

    • Veronica Wilkins

      No!! It does not work that easily! I live under a rock and miraculously have 1,000+ friends- think of how many friends a gal like Haley has! (You’re welcome Haley) It is not about going through thousands of people, invites, events groups and painstakingly unfollowing,deleting etc. It’s about Facebook (Mr. Z and friends) creating a backend software that recognizes and generates the “stuff” YOU want to see! For the record, I enjoy (-ed) Facebook and don’t want to deactivate it. Although I did, in fact, delete the app because I continue to receive notifications for my 5th grade bully’s mom gardening group that meets every other Thursday at 11am. Enough!

  • Joella Almeida

    Oh and just to be clear, I do love you Haley. My comments were meant as help not bashing.

  • I left Facebook in 2014 and haven’t looked back. It’s one of the best things I’ve done for my happiness, peace of mind, and view of humanity.

    …the only downside is that I know literally NO ONE’s birthday. #4 has ruined so many of my friendships over the past three years.

  • Jennifer Paustian

    How about every time someone goes Live? I don’t care and I never will.

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    • Nicole

      Except when it’s MR, obvi

  • Adrianna

    It took me a long time to admit that something as trivial as a social media tool/app impacted my day and mood so much. I deactivated FB after the election and wish I had done it sooner.

  • Serena

    All of this, all of it!!!!!!! I deleted the Facebook app ages ago and haven’t missed it AT ALL.

  • Maren Douglas

    Deleted Facebook off my phone for this. All of this. Jeez Louise

  • HAHAHAAHA this is so accurate. I had to delete the Facebook app because my phone was always buzzing with this garbage.

  • AC

    I deactivated my FB account in 2011. I don’t care about the status updates, events, photos or “friendships”… not to mention people are more often than not complaining or bragging about their lives. One of the best sayings I’ve ever heard is “I hope your life is as great as Facebook makes it out to be”.

  • Bo

    I got penultimately sick of Facebook in like 2014, so I frothily deleted it and have never looked back. DO THE SAME, JOIN MY CULT

    • Habaloo

      Team Bo!
      Deleted mine back in ’12 after I was feeling sorry for myself post dumping, never relapsed!

    • Jeanie

      Ugh, I so want to. I have FOMO about event invites though.

      • snakehissken

        Log out and don’t save your login. When you do log in, just check events and on your besties and then log out again. I’m down to checking once a week.

  • Vanessa

    👍 Like

  • SpiritAndCourage

    #2 “Based on Facebook notifications alone, I can safely assume every dude that lived in my dorm is now the owner of several defunct real estate businesses/DJ monikers”
    Preach, Haley.

  • Meg S

    Facebook has turned into a tool for work for me, and I share lots of posts from the main page if I think they’ll be of interest to people who I’m fb friends with. I regularly ignore everyone’s birthdays and decline invitations to pampered chef parties. I’m not going to spend $40 on a pot to melt butter. Why is there a special pot for this anyway? Is there no other way to melt butter? I think I’ve gotten off track here.

    I make our social media guy post random things. Like the stop from Pokemon Go at our sign outside the building. Or the way we rigged something up to keep water from leaking everywhere when the roof in our building started to go during a bad rainstorm. It was “alternative stormwater remediation” in my words. I’m not sure any of this was serious work, but somehow we made it look that way. My department is really big on facebook.

    I, on the other hand, am not because a) my parents are my fb friends and were offended that they couldn’t see anything. I put them on the parent filter. I said it happened accidentally. It didn’t, but we don’t talk about that. I had to take them off because they wouldn’t be happy until they could see all the pictures from all of my vacations. I have friends who tag me in weird things and I’ll never put them on my wall because a) work and b) parents. That, and I really don’t care what 90% of people I follow on fb are doing.

  • Maggie Lanham

    God bless you, Haley. I was just musing over my ire for Facebook and my self-loathing for keeping it. I think this might be the sign I needed to just delete the damn thing.

  • Marie E

    Hilarious and true!!

  • Sarah

    Loooooool. Accurate.

  • cindy kazanjian

    Sounds like you should quite FB. I did and don’t regret it at all.

  • lily


  • Sarah Mehmood

    lol… that was funny and i hate it so much as well.
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