SelfControl App Causes Major Trouble

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SelfControl is a Mac application that some students install to keep distracting sites such as social media from interfering with school work. However, we don't recommend using Self Control -- a number of students have lost all their data after having to reformat and reinstall.

Reasons NOT to Install the Software

  • Blocks Wharton Printing: Blocks ports used by Wharton printers.
  • Blocks Network and Remote Access:  The app interferes with VMware software used to access our remote labs, as well as other remote login applications.  The only way to regain access to the network is to reformat & reinstall the OS.  In this case, a Time Machine backup and restore will not work, so all applications will be lost.
  • Blocks many sites: Blocking one social media site that shares the same server as others may block others as well. (i.e blocking Twitter will also block Facebook, Instagram, Flickr, Youtube, Pinterest, etc.)
  • Permanently Damages System Files: Once preferences are set in the application, it embeds itself in system files to prevent access. Even if the program is removed, the system files are damaged and require a reformat & restore.
  • Uninstalling is Time Consuming: There is no uninstaller, so students need to locate each program file manually to uninstall. Since system files are permanently affected, uninstalling is not practical.

A Good Alternative

If you have Google Chrome as your browser, the Chrome extension Block Site works well as a way to block certain websites, without the added risks of SelfControl.

 

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