Facebook chat tip: How to only show "online" for specific friends

I know you would never want to avoid your friends, especially on Facebook… that’s just a Marshall thing.

Here’s how I do it, though, just so you know. Here’s how I chat with some people on Facebook without showing up “online” for all my other friends. It’s in two parts.

How to create a list

  1. Log into Facebook.
  2. Go to your home, news feed.
  3. Click “Friends” in the left sidebar.
  4. Click “Create new list,” which is located right above where your news feed would be.
  5. Type the name of your list in the top field of the pop-up box (perhaps “Cool friends I actually want to chat with.”)
  6. Type the name of one of those cool friends in the second field where it says “Start typing a name.” Yeah, that.
  7. Click the person’s face once you’ve typed enough for them to show up. The box around them should turn blue and have a check mark in it.
  8. Repeat steps 5-6 for all the cool friends you want to chat with.
  9. Click “Create list” at the bottom of the pop-up box when you’re finished adding cool friends.

Side note: You can make multiple lists to customize even more. Just run through this for each list you want to create.

How to only show “online” for certain lists of friends

  1. Click the “Chat” box in the lower right corner. If you’re “online” and have friends “online,” they should show up here. You should also see a heading with the name(s) of the list(s) you created.
  2. Toggle the green slider located to the right of all the lists you don’t want to show “online” (they should turn from green to gray and shift from left to right). In other words, you’ll only show “online” for people (or lists) that have a green toggle next to them.
  3. Pop open a chat box with a cool friend you actually want to chat with and enjoy the exclusiveness of online “offline.”

You can probably already see some of the advantages of this, but here are a few of my personal uses:

No-interruption conversations. I’ve used chat to host interviews for my blog. I usually want to concentrate on my interviewee exclusively. I also use this if I just want to have a one-on-one conversation with someone in particular without any distractions. I have a list specifically for this that I switch up all the time depending on who I want to talk to.

Avoiding lame people. Okay, some people are just annoying. This is a polite way to ignore them without them feeling like you’re actually ignoring them. They don’t even know you’re on. Also, it’s awkward to talk to some people at certain times… like in the middle of the night. I use a special list to avoid that.*

So yeah, that’s how to do it. Hope it comes in handy. It can definitely be a Facebook saver once your list of friends gets crazy large.

*[Note: if you never see me on Facebook, you’re probably one of those lame people because I’m on Facebook all the time but don’t have one-on-one conversations that often. :>)

Kidding… I’m not on chat much anymore with anyone.]