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Social media has an undeniable pull that spares no one: even the most hardworking CEOs and dedicated students can find themselves lost in the digital abyss. The only thing that is guaranteed to save you from mindless scrolling when you need to get work done is a social feed blocker.
In this article, we’ll take a look at the eight best social feed blockers available in 2024 and see a bunch of interesting ways they can help you avoid digital distractions.
You might be familiar with website blockers already and wondering if it’s the same thing. It’s not. Instead of completely blocking your access to specific websites as those apps do, social feed blockers exclusively block the feeds and distracting sidebars, allowing you to access other features of a chosen social network.
Depending on your work, you might sometimes need access to messages on Facebook or your playlists on YouTube, and blocking the websites completely might not be an option for you. That’s where social feed blockers come into the picture: they hide the unimportant attention-seeking content and guide you carefully to the pages you are looking for.
What is a social media feed blocker?
A social media feed blocker is a software tool or browser extension designed to help you minimize distractions by blocking or limiting access to your social media feeds. These blockers can temporarily or permanently hide social media content, allowing you to focus on more important tasks or projects.
By reducing the temptation to mindlessly scroll through posts, social media feed blockers can significantly improve your productivity.
Some of these tools are pretty similar in basic functionality, but each has a unique twist. In this guide, I didn’t include any copycat tools that duplicate the popular apps exactly. Instead, you will see a range of the most useful social media blocking solutions and several unique browser extensions.
With that said, let’s take a look at the 8 best social feed blockers.
1. Best social feed blocker:
News Feed Eradicator
News Feed Eradicator is a free, open-source Chrome extension I use to block my social feeds. It takes less than a minute to install and set it up, and it works great out of the box.
The settings can’t be any simpler: you literally block every site in one click.
Personally, I only block Facebook and YouTube as I identified them as my main time wasters. For you, it may be Twitter and Reddit, or even all of them.
I’m sure you know your most tempting socials. If not, install a time tracker first and find out where your time gets lost.
There is also an option to turn the blocker off for 5 minutes, one hour, or one day.
Example of a blocked feed
This is how my Youtube feed looks right now:
As you can see, there is an empty space where the feed usually is. Instead, there is a nice inspirational quote, so I’m getting a bit of wisdom instead of wasting my time watching random stuff. Double-win!
If you don’t want the quotes, you can turn them off in settings. Or just remove the ones you don’t like. Or even use your own list of quotes!
Other than cleaning the homepage, News Feed Eradicator removes the “similar videos” section that usually shows in the right sidebar when you are watching something. It makes it really easy to just leave the website after you get the information you need.
And in case you are wondering where the Shorts tab went, I also have a separate extension that removes shorts from my feed. Personally, I don’t see the value in them, and they used to clutter my subscriptions feed – so I eliminated them, too.
2. Best social media blocker: Freedom
Let’s be honest: not everyone needs access to social media when working or studying. Your scrolling addiction might be convincing you that you need it, but if that’s not true, you might be better off with a blocker that removes temptations completely.
Freedom is one of the most popular social media blockers: millions of people rely on it to remove all their desktop and mobile distractions. It claims to give you back around 2.5 hours of time daily by stopping you from accessing distracting apps and sites.
Imagine how much your life could change if you had two more hours every day!
How Freedom blocks socials
With Freedom, you can create a list of specific sites you want to block, starting with pre-defined social media, shopping, and entertainment websites that are known as the most common distractions.
Here is an example of social media blocking setup, courtesy of Freedom:
Whenever you need to focus, start a Freedom session, and it will handle all the distractions for you, according to your settings. You can also schedule your sessions in advance, for example, if you want to block a regular daily time for focused work.
This tool is available for Mac, Windows, Linux, iOS, and Android, and also as a Chrome extension. It syncs across all your devices, allowing you to block all sources of distractions at once.
An app like Freedom can even block the whole internet if you seriously need to focus on your task. This is particularly useful if you keep finding new ways to procrastinate or are close to a deadline.
Example of a blocked feed
This is what you will see when you try to open a restricted website during a focus session with Freedom:
The best feature of Freedom
If you don’t trust yourself to stay focused even with social feed blockers and will probably try to bypass the restriction, Freedom has a special feature just for you.
It is called the Locked Mode, and it basically protects your focus session when your willpower is not particularly reliable. This means you won’t be able to turn it off in any way until the session ends.
You might be smart, but Freedom is smarter. It already knows every possible workaround. When in Locked Mode, it will prevent you from doing things like removing sites from the blocklist, deleting devices from your account, or even changing the timezone in your system.
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3. Automatic social feed blocker: RescueTime
RescueTime is not just a tool for blocking social feeds – it takes your whole work experience to the next level. Think of it as your productivity assistant that has your productivity as its first priority.
RescueTime is one of the best focus apps available in 2024. It allows you to set daily goals for focused work, reminds you to get back on track if you get distracted, and gives a quick breakdown of your productivity at the end of the day.
You don’t need to choose specific websites or dive into a detailed setup: simply start a focus session, and it will automatically block everything that’s a distraction.
How RescueTime blocks socials
RescueTime groups all websites and apps into categories and assigns a level to each category, from “very productive” to “very distracting.” You have full control over categories and can choose the minimum level of distractions you want to be blocked by default.
The websites will have the “Unblock this page” button, which will make you wait 15 seconds and then unlock the site. This should give you enough time to snap out of automatic behavior and bring yourself back to work.
Alternatively, there is an option to disable unblocking entirely.
Example of a blocked feed
This is what you see when trying to access a social media page during a Focused Session with RescueTime:
Other social feed blocking extensions
The three blocking tools above are more than enough to prevent you from mindlessly scrolling social media. Of course, there are plenty of other apps and extensions that can block your feeds: but please don’t make exploring ALL the options your new way of procrastination.
I am not going to mention the tools that do exactly the same as the already mentioned ones, but here are five more Chrome extensions that bring something unique into the picture.
HideFeed is a social media blocking extension that covers everything but the website header with an image.
This way, you still have access to the important features, but the rest of the information is hidden to prevent you from distractions.
Here is how a blocked website might look with HideFeed:
HideFeed allows you to choose a theme for the images, for example, “puppies” or “ocean.” It can also hide parts of specific websites, for example, a distracting sidebar with news on Twitter.
The only disadvantage I found in HideFeed is that you can reveal everything back with a single click – which doesn’t really help you avoid procrastination.
UnDistracted is another Chrome extension for blocking social media feeds I found useful. It allows you to customize in detail which parts of every social network you want to block.
UnDistracted can protect you from scrolling Facebook, Youtube, Twitter, Reddit, Netflix, and Linkedin. If you have other distracting websites in mind or want a global automatic solution, this might be not a good choice for you.
As an example, these were my Facebook settings with UnDistracted:
This tool also allows you to block the whole website. If you turn ‘Block Facebook’ on, trying to get to Facebook will redirect you to Google or your chosen website.
You can always stop blocking when you don’t need it (say, on the weekend), pause it for 5 minutes for a quick break, or turn it off for a specific time of day.
BeTimeFul is a social feed blocker that saves you from social media addictions.
It’s pretty similar to the other ones in a way that it removes all the distracting parts of the social networks, such as feeds, sidebars, and other nonessential areas. But instead of replacing it with a quote or an image, it simply leaves everything blank.
BeTimeFul has hundreds of positive reviews and happy users. The only reason I personally don’t like it is that it makes you sign up through Google or Facebook in order to use it. Other social feed blockers on this list don’t require you to create an account or link your socials in any way.
Currently, BeTimeFul only supports YouTube, Instagram, Facebook, Linkedin, and Twitter.
This is a fun extension that doesn’t block the social network per se but lets you reconsider procrastinating by delaying access to the website for a given time.
Since instant gratification is what most humans are addicted to these days, this delay stops your automatic scrolling patterns and gives you time to “wake up” and rethink your decision to go waste more time.
This tool has the simplest settings you can imagine. This is basically all of it:
Doesn’t really need explaining, does it?
And here is how a blocked website looks when you attempt to open it:
If you don’t want a comprehensive social feed-blocking tool and delaying distractions is enough for you to realize what you are doing and get back to work, Delayed Gratification might be a good choice for you.
One major downside of this extension is that it doesn’t pause counting when you leave the tab. Basically, you can “wait it out” by doing something else and come back later when it’s ready. This may be not restrictive enough for chronic procrastinators.
The final social media blocker I’m reviewing today is called Mindful Internet Use.
It has a beautiful minimalist interface and makes you take several breaths before you can access one of the blocked websites.
By default, it needs you to breathe four times in a 4-2-4 pattern (inhale for 4 seconds, hold for 2, exhale for 4). However, you may change it to another number and choose a different pattern, such as box breathing 4-4-4-4 (adds a hold after the exhale part) or simple in-and-out for 5 seconds each.
Funnily enough, it also makes you do the breathing if you want to change certain settings. I found this a little frustrating; gotta be more mindful, I guess.
Another interesting feature has to do with quotes. You may choose to show a quote in the corner during breathing, or keep it simple.
You can also make reaching a blocked website even harder for yourself by requiring you to type in the full quote after you finish the breathing part.
Finally, it addresses the problem Delayed Gratification has in regard to tab switching. If you leave the tab mid-breath or even mid-typing and then come back, it will make you do the breathing all over again.
Final thoughts on blocking social feeds
And there you have it: eight great social feed-blocking tools to beat your social media addiction! Armed with these remarkable blockers, you are now equipped to stop yourself from the never-ending scroll and steer your focus toward those fulfilling projects and goals that truly matter.
Remember, the journey to living your dream life starts with prioritizing your time and energy wisely. Block everything that distracts you from your goals and dedicate your time to making steps in the right direction.