Remove Distractions From Websites

Some friends use Instagram as primary chat app. Whenever I open it, I’m sucked into a swirl of content. Some times it pulls me for several, several minutes until my mind steps back and realizes what’s going on.

The solution I found was using Instagram on my Mac and inserting arbitrary CSS into its page to strip out everything that is not chat. The image below is what Instagram looks like to me. Notice how there are no menu, no Explore, no Search:

Screenshot blur.png

I have a shortcut that takes me directly to whenever I want to check what’s going on. If you think about it, you could even turn on chat notifications if you wanted without fear of falling into traps by advertisers. This should work with other websites like Twitter and Youtube as well.

Ok, so how do I do it?

I use Safari and there’s a cheap app called Cascadea that allows us to insert CSS into webpages. If you’re on Chrome or Firefox, you’ll have way more options by looking at the Chrome extension store.

This is the first CSS version I used to get it working:

	display: none; 

Instagram’s HTML has a lot of gibberish CSS classes. I suspect they’re going to keep changing over time to break this type of script. Anyway, I added a rule to check for href for Reels and Explore and that seems to be enough in case other CSS rules change.