Peter Hunter

@peterhunter

Movement was my way out of addiction. Open minded plant lover, BJJ novice, Acro intermediate, advanced rebel spirit.

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1. How to control your Facebook use

When was the last time you thought of something to do on Facebook, where you actually ended up checking Facebook for solely that purpose before exiting?

Well, I can't think of think of when either.
 

Of course, even if you are of this feat of concentration, the point is that Facebook makes sure that your probability of succeeding is as low as possible. HOW has Facebook been designed to optimize Time On Screen? This post (UPCOMING LINK) concerns Facebooks tools of distraction. WHY has FACEBOOK been designed for that purpose? This post (UPCOMING LINK) concerns Facebooks business model.

 

The goal of this post is to share useful methods for improving your probability of using Facebook intentionally like the powerful tool it is, instead of letting Facebook use you to make a powerful profit (UPCOMING LINK). This is the level of your behavior.

 

I also adresse the level of your data, covering some simple steps to reduce what Facebook knows about you (which Facebook uses against you to spend more time on the platform, besides clicking on and buying things).

 

If you want to take things further, here is a guide (not mine) to deleting Facebook all together.

 

All the same ideas apply directly to Google and other companies as well, so if you notice an anti-google bias, that's not a coincidence. I haven't used Google services exept Docs and Sheets and Youtube since 2018.

_______________

 

I’ve organized suggestions for action by whether the change occurs superficially to the Facebook you see and use or deeply in what happens behind the user interface. The table gives synonyms for these two levels and level-specific action-lists:

 

Deep

Superficial

Algorithms

User interface

Backstage

Stage

Subtext

Text

 

 

    1. Switch to Firefox Quantum internet browser on all devices
    1. Switch to Firefox Quantum internet browser on all devices
    1. Add-ons:
      1. Facebook Container by Mozilla
      2. Go Rando
    1. Add-ons:
      1. Friction for Facebook
      2. Newsfeed Eradicator
      3. Facebook Demetricator

     

    1. Uninstall Facebook app, use browser instead (mobile)
    1. Block notifications from Facebook on all devices
    1. Subscribe to quality journalism
    1. Seperate different functions on Facebook
    1. Tweek your FB settings
    1. Quantify your time spent on Facebook

 

The Deep Level

 

I begin with the deep level, because the power Facebook has over you relies entirely on the data they have about you, besides the addicting design of the platform itself. The smaller data-stream you deliver to Facebook, the better. 

 

  1. Switch to Firefox (internet browser) on all devices

 

Around 65% of people use Chrome to browse. The Chrome browser is Really Good, as most reviews agree if you do a quick Ecosia search. But Firefox is a competitive alternative (1, 2), even if you have don't care about privacy or the politics of Big Data.

 

But you're probably reading this because you do.

 

If these issues are important to you, you can listen to the Firefox podcast IRL, compare Firefox's privacy statement with Chrome's or read Mozilla's Manifesto (the organization behind Firefox).

 

If you want more selfish reasons, Firefox synchronizes seemlessly between devices through a Firefox Account, is completely customizable, on par with Chrome on speed with the new Quantum update, offers free file sharing as big as 2,5 GB, and switching to Firefox from Chrome (incl. passwords, bookmarks, everything) is literally a 2 minute task.

 

  1.  Install Specific Facebook add-ons

These add-ons mess with or prevent your data from being processed by Facebook.

 

  1. Facebook Container (Link)
    • Prevents Facebook from tracking you around the web.
  2. Go Rando (Link)
    • This randomly picks which emoji is used when you click "Like" to on average make your emotional profile "balanced" Watch the video through the link, it gives some great reasons to do this.

 

  1. Uninstall Facebook app, use browser instead

 

This prevents the Facebook app from harvesting basically your entire phone in their thirst for your data. It also makes using Facebook slightly less convenient, and the more friction, the better.

 

  1. Subscribe to quality journalism


Facebook is a marketplace for your attention and data, NOT a reliable source of information. You don't know why you're presented with anything on Facebook, news included, because you don't understand the algorithm choosing that. If you want to be in control, and be a knowledgable and responsible person, you have to realize that high-quality content cost time and effort for someone to make - nobody is going to do it for free as it is hard work, and we have to reward quality journalists for this. Would you spend your time writing long, critical, edited and referenced articles while living on a rock?

 

  1. Tweek your Facebook settings.

 

Turn off the following:

  1. Location history
  2. Apps, Websites Games

 

Generally, take a goooood long look at your settings and actively chose which settings you want turned on. Turn off everything else.

 

The Superficial Level

 

  1. Switch to Firefox (internet browser) on all devices

See above.

 

  1. Install Specific Facebook add-ons

 

These add-ons make powerful changes to your Facebook experience:

 

  1. Friction for Facebook (Link)
  2. News Feed Eradicator (Link)
  3. Facebook demetricator (Link)

 

  1. Block notifications from Facebook on all devices

 

This almost explains itself, but if you let notifications dictate when you look at Facebook, you are NOT in control of how YOU choose to use Facebook. For Messenger, you need to block notifications via Android settings, not the app itself.

 

  1. Seperate different functions on Facebook

 

  • MESSAGES: Use https://messenger.com to message people, you will be distracted if you use facebook.com for this purpose. See if you can limit yourself to one (or less?!) daily facebook-scroll by switching to messenger.com for your messages.
  • CALENDAR: Use a calendar and write down events you'll actually attend. Also, let organizers know that you will actually attend (doesn't have to be by clicking "attending") - don't expect to be spoonfed reminders 6 times randomly on Facebook, if you are an organizer you understand why this behavior sucks.
  • FRIENDS: If you want Facebook to update you on your friends, change your Facebook bookmark to go to this link: https://www.facebook.com/?sk=friends

 

  1. Quantify your time spent on Facebook

Use an app like AntiSocial, QualityTime or some of the myriad other app usage, productivity or digital detox apps.

 

The goal is increased awareness of how much time you spend pr day, pr week and pr month on your individual apps and your phone in general. Lots of these apps also set reminders or impose limitations on your phone use to help you control your device addiction.

 

If you have an apple device with iOS 12 or later, there are now built-in features to this end. 


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