How can I block all of Facebook, except messages?
November 23, 2016 8:57 PM   Subscribe

Facebook is a perilous rabbit hole for me, and sometimes I block the whole thing in my hosts file for weeks at a time. But lots of friends and professional contacts use it for making plans, and increasingly I find I've missed important (or at least interesting) messages. I'd like to block it all, except for messages. But I can't figure out how!

I've fiddled with the Chrome Messenger app, and with granular sub-site blocking using Little Snitch, Focus, and my hosts file to no avail. I may not be quite savvy enough to figure out the right combo of blocked things, so if you've figured out the solution to this seemingly intractable problem of our stupid modern lives, please tell me.

Also, before anyone suggests it: I have the Messenger app installed on my phone, but god I hate writing anything more complicated than emoji rebuses on my phone!
posted by tapir-whorf to Computers & Internet (9 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
posted by General Malaise at 9:04 PM on November 23, 2016 [6 favorites]

Unfollow all of your friends (and block their page URLs if you really need it).
posted by teremala at 9:09 PM on November 23, 2016

Threadsitting to say HOLY SHIT,! How on earth did I not know about this? Thank you, General Malaise.

But also: is there a way to view unread messages in it? The user interface isn't nearly as straightforward as Facebook proper, despite being so similar..

(Update: actually I apparently once did know about, since I already have my username and password saved in 1Password. I think this is evidence that I am a very sophisticated somnambulist.)
posted by tapir-whorf at 9:33 PM on November 23, 2016 [3 favorites]

I bookmark a benign page like organic gardening. I only check into organic gardening and I can see up at the top if anyone has messaged me. So I never actually look at my feed.
posted by cda at 9:46 PM on November 23, 2016 [7 favorites]

I use a browser extension called Facebook Purity. I find it handy because you can customize what sections you'd like to block--and I can still look at event pages/groups and message friends without having to see my newsfeed.
posted by Lurch at 11:47 PM on November 23, 2016 [4 favorites]

I do this by using the messenger app on my phone but never going on facebook proper.
posted by umbĂș at 2:52 AM on November 24, 2016

You can also deactivate your account, but leave Messenger active.
posted by sea change at 3:41 AM on November 24, 2016

I use pidgin with the "facebook" plugin, on my desktop. Pidgin supports many chat protocols.
posted by ck49 at 4:14 AM on November 24, 2016 [2 favorites]

If you 'Unfollow' your entire friends list (i.e. don't show me updates, but stay friends) and use a plugin to block ads, your timeline will be empty when you log in. This would take some time, but be worth it if you preferred the main FB interface for responding to event invitations and messages etc.
posted by Happy Dave at 4:33 AM on November 24, 2016

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