Why You Need To Disable The Algorithmic Feed On Facebook

Algorithms go hand-in-hand with social media. Facebook, Instagram, TikTok, and LinkedIn all have systems for getting user eyeballs on what they want them to see. However, not everyone agrees with this practice. Some users would prefer to have control over what they view. Recently, Facebook introduced changes to give users a bit more control over posts on their timeline. The Verge reported that this is a response by the platform to criticism of their newsfeed tendency to amplify negative content to bump up user engagement.

With Facebook, you don't have the option to completely remove the newsfeed from your account, but there are ways to disable it by switching the default algorithmic news feed to one that is chronological. The chronological feed, or "Most Recent" tab, ranks fresh posts from your connections first. They've also implemented tweaks such as a "Favorites" tab which shows you posts from up to 30 selected friends and pages to give you more control over what you see (via Tech Crunch). However, the home newsfeed is still the default, and you will only get access to the others when you log in (via Facebook).

So, why should you switch off your algorithm-based newsfeed?

You need an escape

When the algorithm is on, you leave it to Facebook to decide what you see each time you open your browser. In 2018, Facebook made changes to its algorithm to show you more posts from friends and families, and fewer from publishers and brands. The company prioritized engagement, ranking posts that got a lot of attention higher in feeds. However, these posts were also responsible for amping people up. Posts where people commented and reacted more tended to be ones that were seen as offensive incited strong emotions, or both (via The Washington Post).

By taking the algorithm away, you spare yourself from potentially seeing things that may make you feel stressed or upset. That being said, every person's feed on Facebook is completely different and intended to be curated to their interests. If you are into watching cute puppies and cats online, it's not likely you'll see much inflammatory content. However, if changing your tabs from an algorithm-based to a chronological feed makes you see less engaging content, you may be less inclined to go on the platform, and start living more of your life — real life, that is.