After last Monday’s post filled with Facebook shenanigans, I guess I should have suspected that said shenanigans would continue until I got around to purging my friends list. I’ve been busy. Living. Working. Haven’t done that shit yet. And well, here’s the tasty nugget I woke up to in my Facebook Messages inbox on Monday morning:
Here’s a slow motion replay of my reactions:
- WHO is this?
- HOW is this guy a Facebook friend since I don’t know who he is?
- WHAT on earth is this dude talking about?
- Thanks for insulting me and determining of what I am worthy. Saves me the time and effort. Cause apparently, I’m a BITCH. A bitch who has NO idea what you’re talking about.
So, owning the fact that I’m a complete, disrespectful Evil Lady Who Ignores Facebook Messages – especially ones from people I don’t know who are apparently (and unbeknownst to me) interested in me in some sort of social/romantic manner – I decided to dig into the issue.
As The Facebook Turns – No More Message Notifications
Since Facebook went through its gazillionth change in the past year, I found myself not receiving any notifications of messages and few relating to comments. I was actually pretty delighted for the decreased email volume. So, to see what Mr. Disgruntled was talking about, I took my Evil Lady Who Ignores Facebook Messages self over to Facebook.
Here’s what I see, probably like you when I click on my Messages icon:
I don’t know about you, but I see FIVE messages. If they appear to be unread, I click through and read the unread messages from this window. Given that I can receive up to 20 Facebook messages a day on occasion, if you’re not showing up in this “fast five,” I ain’t gonna see ya.
I scrolled up Mr. Disguntled’s message feed to me and, indeed, he had asked me on November 28 if I’d like to go grab coffee sometime. Prior to that, we’d even shared a 4 or 5 line Facebook chat conversation in early November regarding…the weather. Given that I am ice cube-chance-in-hell visible on Chat, it’s not surprising that I’d forgotten about this exchange. So yeah – he’d asked me to coffee. Sent me a few links. None of which I’d seen. He happened to be friends with a few of my close friends here in Denver, which could explain why he got through my Firewall of Friendship.
But more importantly – how many other messages was Facebook hiding from me with their new notification system?!
Digging Deeper – The “Others”
So, I posted something on my PERSONAL Facebook wall about not getting message and comment notifications and my dear friend Colleen chimed in with – ummm…do you know about “Other” messages?
I’m like – what OTHER messages?
And she showed me. Just like I’m going to show you.
Go to your Home Page on Facebook. Click on Messages in the left hand sidebar. When you do that, something mysterious happens…you’re introduced to The Others.
When I clicked on that Monday morning, I had 58 messages swimming around in there. People I’ve shown this trick over the past two days have had numbers ranging from the 20s to over 100, and some dating back to the beginning of the year.
Now, if you’re running a brand page and trying to figure out why responses to your Events are down, this is why. Most brand page events go into The Others folder, just like the shitty movie starring Nicole Kidman goes into the bargain bin of DVDs at the grocery store. (Who buys DVDs at the grocery store anyways?)
In those Other messages were notes from readers of my blog and invitations to events that I would have really liked to have attended. (There was also the unread/unseen invitation to join the gentleman above for coffee.)
How could I stop these messages from going into Facebook’s sneaky, inconvenient Information Purgatory in the future?
The Answer: Reclaim Your Facebook Notifications
If I’m going to have passive-agressive missives flung in my direction, I want to be fully in control and conscious of the behavior that’s inspiring said missives. I also want to be participating, dammit. So I went into the Facebook Account Settings and I’m going to guide YOU through how to get those Message and other notifications back that Facebook mysteriously took away.
Step #1: Top Right Hand Side of Your Facebook Page
Step #2: Top Left Hand Side of the Next Page
Step #3: UNCHECK THIS DAMN BOX!
Step #4: Set Your Notifications
Scroll down the page until you see the Notifications section. You can click on each of the headings (Facebook – where you’ll find your Message notifications – is shown here) and set up the type of emails you want to receive.
No More Hide-And-Seek With Facebook Messages!
So, it would appear that I’m not necessarily the Evil Lady Who Ignores Facebook Messages after all. Facebook’s bogarted all of our notification settings and it’s up to us to reclaim them. And The Others? Hells bells. Go ahead and tell me how many messages you have in your Others folder. I have a nifty, wintery prize for the person with the most! Caveat: you have to upload a screen shot showing your profile name AND the message bubble to the right side of the Others line.
Now, this weekend, I’ll be doing that (apparently) much-needed Facebook Friends purge, as one of my true friends would have rattled my cage in other ways if I’d been ignoring them, as they’d know it was completely inadvertent. And for the record, the gentleman in question appears to have blocked me on Facebook, so I couldn’t even send him a message explaining the scenario.
The next time you assume someone is ignoring you, one of two things is most certainly true:
Option 1: They are ignoring your messages.
Option 2: They’re victim to Facebook’s definition of “important” and really have no fucking clue that you dropped them a line.
In my case? Option 2 prevailed.
Happy Facebook Notifications Reclamation Day!
Just wanted to say thank you...I did have hidden messages. I was very upset though my first message was a friend trying to get up with my husband to do some work for them...this was in June...lost money. My second message was from a very old friend that had become very sick & the outlook was looking very grim...this was in Jan...now I've tried to contact him but cannot...all I can do is pray he's ok. So from a new fan of yours thank you !
Your fan, Karen
I was rereading my comment and notice that were I said thanks to you I was very upset. I do apologize...I was trying to say thanks to you they were found. Tried to edit for some reason it wouldn't let me. Thanks again.
I have been trying to contact an old friend of mine on facebook, her privacy settings are set so that I cannot just click 'add friend' I have sent her a message, that she obviously has never seen, probably gone into her 'other' messages folder. I have also sent a message to her daughter who obviously hasn't seen it either, so frustrating!!
I want to share this with ALL my friends but unfortunately when I click share. Many won't ever see it because of Fb's greed. I do believe this is happening to push the "Pay To Promote" button! It's that simple and it pisses me off! When I signed up for Fb it was to stay in contact with friends and their activities and such. Unfortunately, Fb leads one on to believe that you will be able to receive every post and every post of yours be seen by ALL your friends.After all. If I wanted to restrict who sees it they have so nicely provided tools to do so. Therefore giving the impression that ALL would see my posts and I would see ALL post by friends. Not so much the truth! Even to this day when I have my settings wide open to get ALL notification and am subscribed to every friend, I STILL find posts that I was not notified of or did not show up in the "Newsfeed".
The only emails I want from Facebook is when someone sends me a private message. I can't find that setting...any help out there? THanks, Ken
thanx.... i probably lost my friend because of this.....now its time to get my friend back...tahank you very much..
The email frequency checkbox is gone!!! Now there is no way to get all notifications... The Facebook Help says it's still there but it's not, verified trying 3 different web browsers, at least on Mac. I've been missing dozens of very important messages ;(
Thankyou SO much . Maybe I will now find that new bf after all now. I had 124 messages in there!! Waaaaw!
thx. i had no idea i had over 100 dating back into last year. would have been nice to get some of them in a timely manner.
thankfully, i stumbled upon this page. freakily, i followed your instructions, and that "email frequency" box wasn't even checked. and i'm still not receiving notices on "other" messages. WTF, FACEBOOK?!?!?!
Over a hundred. I'll let you know how many in a bit, but wow. Caused me to make a little video about it :) http://www.youtube.com/watch#!v=36GSUaYXb8c
Dear Erika So glad you are not really an "Evil Lady". And seriously what is up with this guy? Even if you didn't respond. He should have assumed that you "just were not that into him" even if it was not your fault. Life is too short. So this time, Facebook did you a favor. The rest of the messages and events well we were all F%$^3D! I am reading this offline and as soon as I am online I will let you know how many messages I have in the other category! I had 16 messages, 2 of which it was rude not to respond to: Another physician and a former patient who wanted my opinion... Then 2 messages from 2 random guy which were creepy! Best in the New Year! Rajka
OMG! I found a six month old message from someone I thought had blown me off completely. So glad I read your post.
I made that change on your advice and got a ton of emails when crap happened on FB. I changed it back.
Holy crap, thank you so much for this! I checked mine and found out that a woman my parents graduated high school with was trying to reconnect with them. She only sent it on Nov. 8, so I'm sure it won't look funny that I'm emailing her back now :P
I'm sure that your contest is already over, and my Inbox only ever showed me as having "1" message in my "Other" Inbox, but I just spent over an hour cleaning out messages from the "Other" Inbox that dated back to late 2007...Just wanted to pass on my empirical data... ;-)
For the record I have had email notifications on for months now, as far as I can tell it still wont email you when you get an "other" message.
Why not just use your email account in messaging than Facebook, or just text him/her. Facebook has the changes or renovation that annoys the users a lot.
This is totally annoying. I found out that I had a message from my friend a long time ago, somewhere in mid July 2010 and I have not seen it. Next time I'll tell her to just email me than message me through Facebook.
OMG. This has been a lifesaver and heartbreaker. Found over 200+ messages in the 'other' box I never knew existed, and many private emails, some from students I'd mentored who wrote heartfelt thanks, and must have thought I was ignoring them. I am so grateful for this information so I can now contact all those people and explain why I did not respond to their lovely letters.
Uhm, yeah, I'm pretty sure I'd consider being blocked by this guy a blessing. Yeah, it make things a tiny bit weird with the people you know being that you couldn't smooth things out with him but I'm sure you'd rather have that as opposed to having ultra sensitive Psycho-Dad (no clue if he's a dad or not, just felt the urge to include the Married With Children reference here) create a scene at a coffee shop because you were 15 minutes late, or get all butt hurt because you didn't laugh at his jokes, or blow up your phone with calls and texts when you don't reply immediately to his calls and messages. Very interesting what petty little slights reveal about a person. Almost makes you think it's a good idea to do them on purpose to weed out the dick holes like this. Oh, and thank you so much for showing me how to fix this problem - the Psycho Dad one and the Facebook one. :)
Anyone that would waste time messing with facebook doesn't have anything important to do anyhow. Its a good way for kids to find out where the party's are and for people to feel they have lots of friends !!
I'm kind of pissed right now after reading this. I looked at all my 'other' messages and some were from people from several months back about actually important things!!! Ugh! Most of it, is junk, though. It's from Facebook Pages spamming me with their shit. But a lot of them were actually important. Thanks for telling us how to fix it! :)
I just checked my "other" messages a couple of days ago and found a message from my dad (via his friends account), telling me he has terminal cancer. He sent the message 2 weeks ago, fortunately I had called him several days before finding the message. Sometimes FB is the only way to get in touch with someone (especially family members you haven't shared your new number or address with :D) and if you've not friended them the messages end up in "other" I think that would have been a horrible message to have found 6 month from now.
Thank you Erika! Indeed, there was a boatload of 'other' messages! Who knew? You rock for making it known! Love your blog. Love your tweets. In fact.. I just downright lurv you! LOL. Ya always keep it real.
Wow thanks for sharing I had 18 and and three important ones were missed. As a freelance photographer missed messages could mean missed work or connections http://www.rolfephotography.blogspot.com/
Thanks for your blog about hidden facebook messages. I had 44 messages that I was unaware of. Many I would have deleted without reading anyway, but there are others in there that I would also have liked to read when I received them the first time around, several months ago! Bobby
thank you, I didn't know about this "feature." but I do have my notifications set up the way you show, and they still did not e-mail me about a message from someone important that I've been ignorant of for 7 months.
Facebook sucks, but thanks for the tip. I had hundreds of messages there I had no clue existed. Not that any of them were important...
Okay... this explains the whiney, 'Why have you been avoiding me?' messages. Is it just me, or is facebook becoming so nefarious that we're going to have to start using something else, soon?
It looks like they're in the process of doing the Timeline profile switch so they're denying access to the check boxes part of things. Thankfully, I only had 38 hidden messages. FYI, you also have hidden messages if you admin a FB page as well.