If you want to delete Facebook, start with News Feed

Going dark on Mark.
Going dark on Mark.
Image: Reuters/Dado Ruvic
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Whether you’re sick of fake news and trivial updates from acquaintances, or simply find yourself spending too much time on Facebook, browser extensions like News Feed Eradicator and Kill News Feed can help you reclaim control of your online experience. These tools carefully excise your News Feed while leaving the rest of Facebook intact. Without your News Feed, you can still take advantage of Facebook’s most useful features—messaging, groups, and events—but it’s less likely that you’ll be sucked into an endless cesspool of updates.

The seductive nature of Facebook’s News Feed has been well-documented. After the site’s personalized homepage debuted in fall 2006, users initially hated it. But as Ruchi Sanghvi, the company’s first woman engineer, told Wired, “Despite the fact that there were these revolts and these petitions and people were lined up outside the office, they were digging the product. They were actually using it, and they were using [the site] twice as much as before News Feed.”

Yes, twice as much.

Giving Facebook a small makeover doesn’t change anything else. In fact, it leaves the mobile version as well as the app untouched. So, if you’re looking to go the extra mile, you might have to use additional solutions.

Personally, News Feed Eradicator helped me to slowly reduce my Facebook usage. I’ve turned to alternatives like texting to keep in touch with my real friends. Regardless of your motivation, removing your News Feed is a step toward ensuring that you use Facebook—not the other way around.