FeedScanner is a web browser extension that automatically scrolls down your Facebook news feed while scanning it.
The reading interface that accompanies FeedScanner liberates users from the outward train of passing stimuli in order to engage their attention more deeply with an inward flow of words, emotions, and ideas, an ability that many Internet users have been gradually losing due to long-time training of our brains to do more “efficient” reading on the Internet.
Less Scrolling, More Reading
Each time I land on my Facebook homepage, I immediately feel a low-level panic induced by a false sense of necessity to go through the news feed and a thousands things out there screaming for my attention. I keep scrolling down, quite mindlessly most of the time since my eyes can’t really focus on anything. Five minutes later, I decide to use some willpower to close the browser tab due to a burnout. It isn’t a rewarding experience, however, I can’t help but keep repeating the process every day. Perhaps just as the author of The Shallows puts it, “My brain wasn’t just drifting. It was hungry. It was demanding to be fed the way the Net fed it”. On the Internet, I read a lot, but not really, anything.
What I gained from using FeedScanner was a much more serene flow of information. Its quiet, linear way of presenting the information was closer to an experience that I enjoyed since a child – reading a real book. This helped me engage more with the train of inward thoughts (which didn’t even exist without using FeedScanner) while reading the content that emerge on the pages. This forced me to focus my attention on what my friends said. This liberated me from the perpetual low-level pressure to separate attention-worthy news from unsolicited posts. This calmed me down.