Removing Ads and Recommended Videos from Facebook and YouTube Creates a Much Better Experience

To truly eradicate social media companies’ effect on our lives, we have to counter the ways in which they manipulate our behavior.

The Zen of Simplifying My Facebook and YouTube Experience

My YouTube homepage is now empty — there are no recommended videos on it or around the single video page. This means less ad money for YouTube and more sanity for me.

Credit: Nudge
My Youtube homepage with no “recommended” videos
I made Facebook’s bar pink through FB Purity.
No chat feature and unnaturally extended posts make my FB experience delightfully dysfunctional.
FB Purity allows you to change the “like” emojis.

Awareness and Boredom

Now that I have removed Facebook and YouTube’s ads and recommendations through a Chrome extension and FB Purity, I realize that my ad and recommendation-free social media experience feels a bit boring. This isn’t a bad thing. When it comes to getting our news, I’d definitely go with “boring” to letting YouTube, Google, or Facebook control what video or post is “up next” for me.

Taking Control From Social Media Makes Us More Connected

Here’s how Buddhist teacher Jack Kornfield describes our relationship to boredom in his book “A Path With Heart: A Guide Through the Perils and Promises of a Spiritual Life”:

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