All Hail the News Feed Eradicator!

Ever wonder how much time you waste on Facebook? (Hint: Too much). For those who despair of weaning themselves from the constant flow of information on social media, there is a solution: the News Feed Eradicator, which “removes your news feed and live ticker and replaces it with an inspirational quote,” according to its creators. The Eradicator, which is an extension that can be installed on Chrome, asks:

“Do you often want to check Facebook, and then find yourself disappearing for hours as you are consumed by the bottomless pit that is the News Feed? Do you want your life back, but can’t bear to delete Facebook altogether?”

Particularly at a time of extreme partisan bickering (otherwise known as the new normal in the Trump era), curating your News Feed isn’t enough. If you really want to step away from the social media cesspool, it’s best to hit the mute button, which is what the Eradicator does. The inspirational quotes the Eradicator suggests in place of the News Feed range from Horace (“Rule your mind or it will rule you”) to advice such as this from Mortimer Adler: “True freedom is impossible without a mind made free by discipline.” You can also add your own preferred quotes, (“Get back to work!”) but the Eradicator selection of productivity-related quotes are solid, if slightly passive-aggressive about the time suck that is social media. The Eradicator also has the benefit of returning some control of Facebook use to the user, while offering a compromise position between going truly cold turkey (deleting Facebook) and abject dependence on the constant stream of information served up on the News Feed.Does the Eradicator work?

Among the more than 600 reviews of the feature (most of which are positive) are a large number of people praising the Eradicator for protecting their mental health. “This is amazing. The news feed should really be an optional feature, but because it’s not, this extension may save my sanity,” one reviewer wrote. “I don’t normally write reviews, but this has made a positive difference in my life over the last month. Thank you!” wrote another.

Still wondering if you should remove some of Facebook’s influence on your everyday life? Try thinking about Facebook as a friend (after all, that’s what the company wants you to think of it as being so it can worm its way into ever more aspects of your private life). Then think about this friend constantly harassing you; sending you unsolicited and angry stories about politics, and tracking your every move (oh yes, all while forcing you to look at advertisements for things you don’t need but might want all the time).

Perhaps this isn’t a healthy relationship.

Don’t take our word for it. Take the word of someone who worked at Facebook for years and now describes it as a place of thriving “corporate fascism” whose employees believe their work to be as important as a religion, but whose leadership enforces rigid secrecy about its methods and aims.

Is that the “friend” you want whispering in your ear all day? If not, then Eradicate him.

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