When Facebook Feels "FUBAR"
The Personal Weblog of Edward W. Farrell   
When Facebook Feels "FUBAR" Saturday, February 24, 2018
Around Christmas time last year I decided to take a vacation from Facebook. It was a watershed moment, because until then to visit Facebook was to take a vacation from whatever work I was doing that demanded procrastination. And Facebook is a great place to procrastinate--it's a full blown social life, without the "life." I'm not knocking this; a real social life requires a lot of energy that reclusive types like me don't want to spend, so having the means to passively catch up on the doings of friends and relatives without all the social machinery of a real visit is sometimes a good thing. Plus, the "like" buttons, emoticons, and comments provide a pleasantly addictive interactivity that keep bringing me back for more--rather like an occasional morsel of sugar will keep a rat pressing buttons for the behavioral psychologists that caged him. So I also feel more camaraderie with my ancestors common to the rat in the great evolutionary chain of being. Thanks, Facebook!

Unfortunately, visiting Facebook is no longer a vacation. Logging onto Facebook is like stepping into a room full of bullhorns on autopilot. Facebook has become the answer to the question no one asked: how many times can you monotonously repeat the same utterly tedious, continuously expressed political opinion while slightly changing the word order and cranking up the volume each time you say it? And the answer is that there is no limit. At least, no limit in sight. In the Facebook universe, it's bullhorns all the way down.

So yes, Facebook felt FUBAR to me, and I decided to opt out. But before I deactivated my account, I reflected that I would no longer see the posts from friends and relatives that were enjoyable and meaningful, nor would I see the great photos and literary clips posted by some friends, particularly my Russian FB friends. So I started looking for a solution to this. Since, among other things, I am a software developer, I considered writing a script to filter the FB feed. But it didn't take much effort to discover that this has already been done. The one I'm currently using is "Social Fixer for Facebook" and it's a free plug-in for Chrome (alas, so far as I know it is only available for Chrome). It effectively filters roughly 90% of the posts that annoy me the most without having to tediously hide posts or unfriend people. And you can extensively tailor what it filters. However, your mileage may vary in using this. I have a very fast laptop and desktop with loads of fast memory and the FB feed is noticeably slower when I use it, so slow computers may suffer. But it's worth a try, especially if you are considering jettisoning Facebook from your life yet have qualms.          

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Social Fixer for Facebook
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