Here are some browser extensions and tools I’ve been using to make my experience on the Big Three social networks better:
Since 2012 I’ve been using Fix Twitter to swap the right and left columns to put the feed back on the left, as it was pre-2012. Mostly cosmetic, but for me preferable.
Make Twitter Great Again hides two things that have made web Twitter nearly unbearable recently: other people’s liked tweets popping up in my timeline and promoted tweets.
Twitter Demetricator hides all the site’s metrics for followers, likes, retweets, and notifications in order to, per its creator, “disrupt our obsession with social media metrics, to reveal how they guide our behavior, and to ask who most benefits from a system that quantifies our public interactions online.”
I recently enabled Tweet Delete to automatically delete tweets older than two months.
I’m not deleting my account, not yet anyway. For work and other reasons it’s just more convenient to have one. The next best thing to do in response to the company’s rolling malfeasance is to deny them their power source, so I’m using Social Book Post Manager to bulk-delete my old posts and plan to post a lot less. It’s a little clunky, and you have to do the process repeatedly to actually get all the posts, but seems to be working.
I’m starting with the earliest, from the summer of 2006 when I first joined, and working forward. Since you get to watch it work through your posts in real time on your Activity Log, you get to quickly reminisce—or cringe—at all of your status updates and comments of olde (common topics for a while there: Lost, the Oscars, The Office, and the Packers). Once all your posts are removed from a given year, the updates that remain—Life Events, your friending history, photos you’re tagged in—reflect an interesting kind of online anthropological history.
I also use Stay Focusd to limit my time on Facebook.
I like Instagram generally, but I don’t like how easy it is to waste time scrolling mindlessly. I also don’t like the feed showing me whatever the Almighty Algorithm decides to show me rather than what was posted chronologically.
My hack for this is to delete the Instagram app from my phone after each time I post a photo. This cuts me off from the mindless scroll, from obsessing over my likes and follows, and forces me to decide whether posting a photo is worth the extra time to download the app and sign in again.