December 28, 2016
A few months back I started using MindTheTime, a Mozilla extension, to track the time I spend online and where.
A bit over a month ago, I started using KillFBFeed to block the Facebook news feed.
Coming up to the end of this month, I now have a full month of data to compare with previous months.
Total internet use this month is down to about 2/3 – 3/4 of what it has been in prior months.
Facebook use this month is down to 1/3 – 1/2 of what it has been in prior months.
A small element of this could be seasonal – midwinter months had slightly heavier internet use – but the change seems significant.
The main reason to block “newsfeed” was to bring an end to mindless internet trawling. This has been a qualified success. I can still access specific lists on facebook to track close friends, and I still use Facebook as an email and events service. One side effect is I am spending more time on my Twitter mutants feed, which is a much higher quality curation of content.
Another intent of the switch was to pop my filter bubble, and especially to escape that rampant 2016-nausea. This appears to have been successful. I caught up with some people at a cafe the other day. When talk turned to a swirl of Trump, I had no idea what the latest godawful details of stuff out of my control were, but everyone else did.
In other news, I am engaging with my own creative projects more.
So, on the whole a successful experiment, and one I will continue. I would recommend similar practices to others.