Why I Killed My Facebook News Feed

Social media is awesome…until it’s not.

social media word cloud

As some of you know, I have an accountability partner. Her name is Audrey and she owns The Write Services, home of The Author Transformation Alliance. She’s one of the most organized and productive people I know. (Yeah, so in other words — pretty much my total opposite.)

Over a year ago, Audrey mentioned a Google Chrome app called the Facebook News Feed Eradicator. I tried it and was so empty. How would I survive without the constant stream of updates from my thousand-plus friends?!

More importantly, in addition to being a writer and a graphic designer, I’m also a social media manager. I need Facebook to do my job. Or did I?

Several months ago I finally installed the app. It took a few days to get used to but I saw an almost instantaneous spike in my level of productivity. Because it took me less time to do my work, I had more time to spend on things like writing.

In case you were wondering, I’ve self-published two more books under my name and three under a pen name since installing this app on Google Chrome.

FB news feed eradicator

Here’s what my news feed looks like with the app in place. I can add in my own quotes and trust me when I say that I’ve added some harsh ones. More than once my husband has walked past my desk when the quote says “Why aren’t you writing?” and asked me, “Yeah. Why the heck aren’t you writing?”

This past weekend was the fourth anniversary of my father’s death. We had a falling out a couple of years before he died and never spoke again. If I had known it would be the last time I spoke to him, I’m not sure I’d have changed a thing. He was very proud of his white heritage. We disagreed on it more than once. That anniversary coupled with the events in Charlottesville made for an emotional weekend.

By yesterday morning, I just wanted to escape so I removed the app. Yay! My news feed was back! And it was so much fun having my everything back at first. I even thought about playing Words With Friends, which I haven’t touched in months.

This morning, because the news feed was in place, I learned that the mystery writing community lost a beloved short story writer, B.K. Stevens. (This is something I would have learned with the app in place, as I still check the feed a couple of times a day from my phone.) Although we’d been Facebook friends for a few years, we finally met in person last weekend–in Charlottesville, no less–when she was on a panel with another good friend, Phyllis A. Duncan.

The day went downhill from there. Each new status piled more negativity. About an hour ago I decided I had enough and posted this:

I removed the Facebook Newsfeed Eradicator app from Google Chrome for 48 hours. Guess how many words I wrote on my own books during this time. Nothing! And instead of being caught up and ahead of schedule for my clients, I’m barely on time and in danger of missing a deadline.

However, I unfriended two people, made three new friends, and argued with a total stranger who said 45 shouldn’t be held responsible for his insensitive comments because white supremacy pre-dates his term in office.

The app is going back on as soon as I post this. I’ll still have the regular Facebook news feed on my phone and I’ll scroll through a few times a day. I will get notified any time I’m tagged in something or if someone PMs me like normal.

But if I’m going to keep up my self-imposed pace of getting books out and do right by my beloved clients, I can’t spend all my time here.

Do you use Facebook? Head over and follow my Facebook author page if you haven’t already. It’s where I’m most active. Be sure to sign up for my VIP Reader emails. Tomorrow I’m sending out tips based on what helps me maintain a healthy mental attitude when spending so much time online.




One Reply to “Why I Killed My Facebook News Feed”

  1. Sorry about your Dad … I understand how painful that is as I had an argument with my Dad less than a year before he passed and was in “speak only when spoken to” mode. Whatever good was in your relationship with your Dad, he carried it in his heart and unfortunately when we stand our ground with someone it is sometimes the last time we ever speak. It doesn’t mean we shouldn’t have said what we had to say. May time heal your heart.
    Oh and I definitely need to check out newsfeed eradicate.

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