30 Days Minus a Facebook News Feed

Productivity is a choice. It's about how much your value your time. Want to be productive? Make changes, chop away at everything that distracts you from doing things that actually matter.

Facebook is almost synonymous with the face of the internet. Yes it connects people, but I'm sure you'd agree we use the website for much, much more. Everything from getting trending news, following celebrities, keeping up with groups and as of recently– for watching videos and selling stuff!

I almost never visit individual news sites anymore. Services like NowThis and trending posts immediately tell me what I need to know or should be reading - which is great!

But this amount of content, available all the time, comes at the cost of your time. I'm sure you'll agree, the biggest distractions on Facebook are the cleverly titled pieces of click-bait that send you on a clicking spree across the internet.

Last month I decided to get rid of my news feed altogether. Easily accomplished with the help of this neat CSS trick. Here's what followed.

Facebook news feed remover

I should note that I only ever use Facebook online. Which makes this case more productive than a lot of people who also use the Facebook app - where there's no escape from the feed!

Even if you use the app I'm sure you login online for work (managing pages & advertising), groups - especially class groups! You know you need it when those assignments are due! Won't you agree you could do without the distraction?

To balance it out I'm going to ask the person sitting across me right now to try it out too!

A few moments later

She was happy to help out and have her news feed edited out for the test. (Thanks Erin!)

Guess what everyone says after a week without a news feed? Productive. Everyone I asked reported some level of improved productivity, all because the news feed was no longer visible to them when they login to check their notifications any number of times per day.

The clickbait problem

I may never turn my news feed back on.

Clickbait is a problem, and it's nobodies fault. We see top news sites baiting users with titles they just want to click. For most organizations and content creators like myself, choosing catchy titles has become a part of the publishing process simply because the traffic proves they actually do work. People just do click on this stuff! Naturally, the links your friends click, like and share automatically rise up your news feed and get you too!

Disclaimer: This is no rant against Facebook, this extends to all popular social media. It's in the agenda of all businesses to have their users spend as much time on their service as they could juice out. We do benefit from it for the most part. I simply believe people should value their time, and it's their personal responsibility to choose and pick what they do and don't devote their time to.

My 30 days without a Facebook news feed has been a gloriously productive use of the service, and I won't be turning it back on anytime soon. Try it sometime, and let me know if it works for you!

Friends, Romans, countrymen, lend me your ears.
I write regularly about design, science, tech and all things I find interesting. Get my essays delivered right to your inbox by subscribing.