Psychologists have coined the term “social exhaustion” to explain how introverts feel when they’ve had too much social interaction and feel overwhelmed.
I have developed whatever the social-medial-political post equivalent of that is. It’s important to be informed, but I found myself longing for the good old days when Facebook meant pictures of my friend’s lunches and awkward selfies. Perhaps you feel the same way or maybe you’d just like to get rid of “Sponsored Posts”, “People You May Know” and other similar features.
Say hello to “Social Fixer”, a browser extension that filters your Facebook newsfeed and tailors your Facebook page to reflect more of what you want to see and less of what you don’t.
“Is Social Fixer legit?” Yes. It’s simply a program that runs in your browser whenever you are logged into Facebook. It does not have access to your personal information, your browser history, cookies, stored data, or anything else personal. It doesn’t transfer personal information nor does it change settings or data, add malware, spam, pornography or ads.
The only downside is that it isn’t available on mobile devices. Unlike desktop browsers, the Facebook app doesn’t allow extensions. In addition, Facebook uses HTTPS making traffic encrypted. It’s very protective about what information apps can access – that’s a good thing – and that means it limits access to your newsfeed.
To install Social Fixer, click here. Once installed, you can hide “Sponsored Stories”, which are really just ads in disguise, stories related to U.S. politics, posts you’ve already seen or read, and override “Top Stories” so you get the most recent posts, not the ones that Facebook wants you to see.
In addition, Social Fixer enables you to customize the User Interface, which is really just a fancy way of saying you get to change everything from fonts to colors. That may seem like a little thing and purely cosmetic to most of us, but for individuals with disabilities, being able to changes fonts and colors increases Facebook’s accessibility.
One of the most interesting features is Stealth Mode which lets you browse Profiles, Pages or Groups while eliminating the possibility of accidentally “liking” a photo or requesting a friend. That means the next time you’re deep into a photo album of your daughter’s friend’s mom’s Christmas album from three years ago, you won’t accidentally get caught.
There are a host of other useful features I haven’t fully discovered or utilized yet. There are a lot of options and I’m still tweaking my settings but I can honestly say it’s one of my favorite extensions I’ve added to my browser. Check it out and let me know what you think.
Tracey Dowdy is a freelance writer based just outside Washington DC. After years working for non-profits and charities, she now freelances, edits and researches on subjects ranging from family and education to history and trends in technology. Follow Tracey on Twitter.