If you’re like me — and I’m guessing that many of you are — you easily get distracted by those Facebook, Twitter, and Gmail tabs staring at you from your web browser. How can I get any work done when I constantly need to know who’s retweeted something I’ve tweeted, or responded to a comment I left on someone’s status update, or replied to my wise-ass remark in a group email thread?
The only answer is to unplug. Unplug from the social network, that is. Anti-Social is a sweet little program for Macs (OS X 10.4 or later) that blocks access to the gamut of social networking sites. Among others, these are some of the sites you won’t be able to get to (full list here):
*Email blocking is optional. When the application is run, you can opt to keep email access, if it’s required for your work.
You can also specify other websites to block, like FOXNews.com for example (although I’m sure you would never have temptation to go there).
I downloaded the trial version and installed it within a few minutes (limited to 5 uses / registered copy is $15). Then I ran it. Because the shock of not having this access for too long would cause me to curl up in a ball and cry like a baby, I set it for 30 minutes. I tried getting to the sites in Firefox and Safari:
I even did a Force Quit and tested again. Still no go. Once the 30 minutes expired, I was back in business.
The creator of Anti-Social first came up with Freedom (which is available for Windows), another distraction-fighting tool that completely shuts off the entire Internet. But realizing that some people still needed the WWW for their work, he tweaked it.
Now the question remains: Do I have the discipline to run the software?
Check out the following articles to learn more about the social media craze:
Technology Bytes: Social Media Revolution [Video]
How to be a Social Media Douchebag.
Matador’s Focus Page on Social Media
Social Media Hangovers: Disconnecting in Order to Connect