Quitting MW/Reddit/FB/Social Media


I wish someone would make a smartphone for technically minded creative types. Interchangable lens, multichannel audio i/o on usefull connectors, accesible gpio pins, modular hardware to allow upgrades, fully open source software etc.etc. .


I don’t, really… For light usage, my phone does things pretty well (taking decent photos, taking small notes, quickly recording things in the street, etc.), and it’s 3-4 years old I think. That’s because it’s small, unobtrusive and I always have it in a pocket. Actually, an iPod (if they still make these) would fit the bill just as well and without the phone part.

For anything more involved I prefer a dedicated tool : camera, audio recorder, real notepad, etc. but I’m not sure I could have all of these in one device that would stay pertinent and usable.


It’s not open source, but beastgrip is a cradle that allows you to merge your phone with lenses (and other film/photo equipment).


This was a killer for me, and I also ended up deleting the Facebook app sometime last year because it was eating into my phone battery way too quickly.

After going to The Glass Room a few weeks ago I decided to delete my Facebook and Instagram accounts a day or two later. That definitely wasn’t the intent of the people who organised the popup, but I’d been thinking about it for a while and it was enough to tip me over. My endless scrolling now is mostly on The Guardian app, so it feels a little bit more worthwhile, but one thing that is surprisingly annoying is when there are Facebook groups for communities which I now can’t access, for example, the building I live in has a group where residents keep in touch and post updates about issues in the building, etc, and also for events, so I’ve found that I need to be a bit more proactive to search out what’s going on around me. All in all, I’m pretty happy with the change, and I’ve already noticed that the ads following me around the interweb are way less tailored to me than they were a month ago.


Darn it, I would have been so up for visiting the Glass room if I had known about it.

its about 5 mins from where I work…

I left Twitter a few years ago, and only use FB at work ( 5 mins / 5 times per week) and really dont miss it at all.

my next thing is to reduce screen usage (laptop, switch, TV) for books and conversation.



Quitting Facebook is hard. (Took me a year from the day I decided, but that, itself, was more than a year after I had deleted the mobile app.) There is some tragedy in closing your account for good: it feels very strange to begin with, then life gets lonely, then you actually have to figure out what to do with the newly available (but not automatically regained or kept) time and focus.
But, after a while, I did find myself having more energy to put into creative work.
4/5 would do again.


I had no trouble quitting FB five years ago. What a relief that was. Now Twitter next as my anxiety levels are directly proportional to my time spent in there.


My biggest difficulty with deleting FB permanently is that I keep in touch with a lot of friends (and schedule DnD) through Facebook messenger.

However, I just learned that messenger is accessible separately so I decided to use that and ignore the rest - I already feel calmer after one day of not looking at my news feed.


A few quick thoughts:

  • I’ve installed a Chrome extension called “FB Purity”. I’m pretty much required to have a Facebook account since I run a business. However, FPB allows me to block my entire newsfeed from ever appearing. If I want to see a specific page’s posts, I need to have the intention of visiting that page. This has dramatically reduced Facebook intake.

  • I’ve replaced Twitter with Tweetdeck. The only things I see on Twitter are specific mentions of myself or my company. Again, this greatly reduces idle browsing.

  • Reddit is my primary problem, and I have trouble quitting it. First, I’ve added 70+ subreddits to my block list. This filter appears on the right side when browsing r/all. Pretty much all major hate, porn, or political subreddits are filtered out. My own subscriptions (when browsing just the reddit homepage) are all electronics, programming, synthesizers, music, movies, and video games. Still distractions, at least I know what I’m browsing.

  • For continued Reddit and forum distraction blocking, I also have a Chrome extension called “StayFocusd” (yes, that’s how it’s spelled) that will grant me 15 minutes of distracted browsing each day before completely blocking my chosen sites. Excellent extension.

  • To eliminate my old, embarrassing high school and college Facebook posts, I installed a Chrome extension called “Social Book Post Manager”. This is an automated tool that scrolls through your Facebook activity log and deletes/hides/unlikes posts within a specific date range. It doesn’t use your Facebook password, so you see everything that it does when you ask it. I had it nuke everything before 2011, which felt great.

  • On my phone, I only have a handful of essential apps and puzzle games. I have Messenger installed, but not Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram. Nothing that encourages newsfeed scrolling.

  • For Facebook settings, I’ve eliminated the ability for people to post directly to my wall. I have a setting enabled where I have to manually approve every tag before it appears on my wall. I sign on about once every 4 hours to check if anybody has posted a tech support issue on my company page, and then I sign off.


Reddit is also a problem to me. I pretty much just look at my subreddits unless I’m in a constrained situation (10 minutes before something will interrupt me) and then I dip my toe in /r/all.

My main problem with Reddit regardless of time is the negativity. It is a chip-on-shoulder environment. Some of the subreddits are chill but … others… well. Sigh.

I’ve been there since the very beginning so I kinda want to stay involved but there are certainly times when I think about just walking. Most of the other originals left and went to hacker news but that has a different set of problems. If it wasn’t for /r/worldbuilding and the synth groups I’d probably just give up.


my Reddit experience is ~98% a mix of not understanding it, and sheer confusion as to what powers it. Easy not to look at.


Totally, I really don’t get it at all. Glad there are kindred spirits out there.

Edit; this is a reply to @eesn


My connection to reddit goes way back as well. I remember talking to Aaron Swartz on IRC and sending him a couple of small web.py patches, I was just learning Python in earnest at the time… the site has definitely grown and changed a lot since those early days.


Highly recommend this theoretical piece on the role of social media and digital spaces. http://fuchs.uti.at/wp-content/uploads/CF_value.pdf


Thanks for that.

Jumping in on the old conversation:

The surprising (to me) reason I wasn’t able to fully quit Facebook in 2017: being able to be informed directly by peers en masse during emergencies, crises, and urgent community issues as they unfold… a very real need this last year unfortunately, to the point I have a pretty intense fear of fully disconnecting. The platform is absurdly toxic otherwise.



Worth having installed on all browsers:


I’ve never been a big facebook user, I use it to get news from people I don’t necessarily see often (because many of them live in other continents, for example) and I post something maybe once a year, and most of these are gear for sale :).

Anyway, I uninstalled the application on my phone last week because the damn thing does not want to just let me see news from people I chose in chronological order. That makes it useless for me… I can still check it once in a while on my computer but I’m pretty sure that I won’t get relevant information that way either.


My tactic for dealing with Facebook’s “Top Stories” sort order is to create a list and put all my friends on it, and use that from now on instead of News Feed. Lists are always in chronological order (but I’m told they may still not show every post from every user, sigh). Unfortunately they keep moving the navigation to lists around on mobile, but they haven’t eliminated it altogether (yet).

I’ve also heard that the Chrome extension called “FB Purity” helps with this, but I haven’t tried it.

I’ve noticed that amongst my circle of friends Facebook usage has dropped precipitously since the 2016 election. Down and dropping further. I have no idea if this is unique to my local conditions, or if they’re seeing usage drop all over. Haven’t heard any news about it.

This drop in usage is starting to make me think I could do without it, but I’m cognizant of the fact that it would mean I’d never hear from some people again. Obviously these aren’t very significant relationships in my life anyway, so it wouldn’t be a huge loss, but I dunno. I guess I still feel a bit attached.


I remember having read somewhere in an article that a couple of years ago facebook was facing a big crisis: Everybody was on facebook, but many people were not actively using it, except for “lurking”, which isn’t very good for facebook, since they have a harder time profiling you if you don’t like, comment, post etc.
Not sure if this has changed in the meantime.

I also have noticed that very few of my friends use facebook, most of them have an account, but they never post/like/comment or do anything else. Most of them rarely log on. They have an account because “you never know”, or because they occasionally need it for something. Also a surprisingly high number of people I know don’t even have a fb account and couldn’t care less about creating one.


I have observed this as well, but there was always a smaller circle of friends that used it more heavily (I used to be one of them). That’s the group of people I’m talking about with regard to reduced usage. It has to be a bad thing for Facebook, but they’re not talking about it.