Are you spending too much time on social feeds? Ever find yourself entranced by the time-sucking, endless Facebook News Feed, unable to willingly put a stop to the soul-sucking plethora of distractions?
I know I do. It becomes an addicting habit: you sit down, pull out your phone, and instinctively open the Facebook app, without even thinking about it -- and before you realize, 20+ minutes of your life have gone by, making it difficult to complete tasks or study for a test.
The first step in treating this addiction is acceptance -- you probably found this post by searching for a feed blocking solution, which is wonderful. It means that you're ready to treat this addiction and are willing to take the necessary measures to cut down on your daily feed-browsing time.
However, you probably don't want to uninstall Facebook completely -- you do need the app for things other than the feed, every once in a while. And even browsing the feed for a limited amount of time is perfectly fine, as long as it's a controlled amount.
This is where FeedBlocker comes in. It's an Android app I built for rooted devices that limits your feed browsing time by displaying a friendly reminder to close the feed and do something productive for a change, after a configurable amount of time has passed.
To really limit your feed browsing time, it needs root access, to read the device logcat (in order to identify feed open/close events) and to close the Facebook feed (after a friendly reminder is displayed and you agree to close the feed). Otherwise, you'll just be able to override a non-root app and keep browsing the feed, rendering it powerless. Do note that you can still uninstall FeedBlocker if you wish, but obviously this is the most counterproductive thing you can do for overcoming your addiction.
If you choose to ignore the FeedBlocker friendly reminder, one of the following toast messages is chosen randomly and displayed:
- Please stop this. It's an addiction.
- You're wasting precious time...
- I'm disappointed in you.
- Don't you have anything better to do?
- Stop it, you're out of control!
- What do you think you're doing?!
These messages will definitely make you feel guilty for browsing the feed for too long and will help motivate you to exit the feed the next time the FeedBlocker warning pops up.
The app is very configurable -- you can define your own feed browsing time limit (in minutes) and decide whether you'll be force-blocked -- you won't be able to ignore the FeedBlocker warning when time's up.
Currently, only the Facebook feed is supported. However, it's relatively easy to support other feeds - if you have a suggestion, open an issue in the GitHub repo and we'll discuss it!
If you're like me, and feel that you really need to limit your feed-browsing time, give FeedBlocker a try. I promise you that you'll be much more productive, and feel better at the end of the day.