For many years throughout high school and university, I had a habit of spending several hours a day scrolling through Facebook. It became a problem, and so I tried to stop this habit. At first, I tried using willpower and discipline to stop cold turkey. But this only worked for a short period of time before I would be back. Trying to break this habit with willpower was not sustainable.
I struggled with this for a long time time, until I discovered News Feed Eradicator. News Feed Eradicator is a browser plugin that replaces Facebook’s home page news feed with an inspiring quote. Unlike other plugins that completely block social media, this plugin still allows you to use Facebook. The only difference is that the home page news feed is no longer there.
Over time, I began spending less time on Facebook without even realizing it. I was still using Facebook for instant messaging and keeping up with groups and events - useful functions that had previously made it difficult to stop using Facebook - but whenever I went on Facebook, I was no longer sucked into the addictive and constant novelty that the news feed provided. Although I still got the urge to see what was on my news feed, it required significantly less willpower to avoid it when it was not there.
When it comes to changing habits, it is important to understand that the cue, which triggers the habit loop and initiates the routine, is a crucial part of a habit. Once the habit loop has been triggered, it is very difficult to use willpower to stop the habit. In this case, News Feed Eradicator prevents the cue from occurring by removing the news feed and disrupting the habit loop. Less willpower is required to break the habit. As a result, habit change becomes sustainable.