Reclaim Your Attention!

January 1, 2019

I'm still working on my goals for 2019, but one of them is that I want to spend less time mindlessly consuming media. Like, less time scrolling through Facebook, less time perusing low-value videos on YouTube, that sort of thing.

The problem is that these sites aren't devoid of value; I still want to hear about events in my neighborhood, and I still want to watch high-value videos. Upon reflection, what I don't like about these services is their recommendation services---the algorithms whose goals are to make me spend as much time as possible on these websites.

And so I'd like to present the most obvious-in-hindsight solution I've ever come across. Just delete the fuckers!

Facebook

Youtube

If you're sold on this idea, it's actually super easy to do, and works anywhere on the internet! You're going to need to install the uBlock Origin browser extension.

Now, right click vaguely anywhere around the bit of the website that you don't like, and go down to "Block element."

Block element

Lots of technical mumbo jumbo will pop up in the bottom right of your screen.

Mumbo jumbo

Click on a line under "Cosmetic filters." Some portion of the website will glow red, showing you how much of it you're about to delete. If the selection is too broad or too specific, try choosing a different cosmetic filter. Narrow in on exactly the section of the website that's the problem---the Facebook newsfeed for example---and then click on "Create."

And poof! That section of the website will be gone forevermore. Reclaim your attention and save it for more important things than stupid bullshit on the internet.