How I'm curing my Twitter addiction

Concrete steps one can take to prevent getting addicted to Twitter's insidious feeds.


As a new idea in my mind, this is by no means a solid source. I'm happy to hear your thoughts and learn better.

If you're here, I imagine you're struggling with keeping social media at bay. I'll hence skip all most 1 of the convincing you to give up on it.

After putting the techniques below into practice, I've reduced my feed consumption drastically. I now feel calmer and more in control - I'm starting to feel the JOy of Missing Out (JOMO) 😊

Making the main feed less addicting with lists

My main feed was absurdly addicting. It was the perfect drug to escape the discomfort of a tough task or some dreaded bureaucracy. Also, with the variety of people I was following I never knew what to expect - this variability and chance was a huge dopamine source that further helped forming my feed-scrolling habit.

I figured I needed to make the feeds more boring and predictable to help me let go of the addiction. About 9 months ago I un-followed everyone and created thematic lists of people that I could hop into to catch up on a given, restricted topic if I wanted to.

Screenshot of my Twitter lists

It worked like a charm. If I try to open for a quick dopamine fix, I'm faced with my own old tweets and nothing new - the perfect amount of boredom to get off the craze!

Also, lists aren't super high quality because they aren't isn't as tailored to what I like as a personal feed, so they don't hook me for long.

Create friction

I've been using BlockSite for almost 2 years now, and it's a blessing. It allows you to add sites to a block list so that, next time you visit them, you're redirected to a screen that shames you in the right way:

It's often a wake-up call that prevents me from mindlessly opening Twitter as a coping mechanism. You can of course disable it, but it adds a bit of extra friction and mindfulness to the process of accessing sites.

Avoid numbers & trending topics

As I started producing more content in Twitter, the two methods above stopped being enough to keep me out of it. I was logging in 4-5 times a day just to check on new notifications to see if someone had engaged with what I was putting out. This was sucking the joy out of content creation and wasting my time, energy and focus.

The solution came in the shape of BetterTwitter, a browser extension that hides all like/comment/retweet/followers numbers as well as the trending topics sidebar. Now I either need to open my Twitter analytics to see my followers and engagement or in an incognito window - enough to keep alienated from it. Now it's less about numbers and more about the joy of sharing & interacting.

Get BetterTwitter as a Firefox add-on or Chrome extension - code is open-source, too!

Oh, and one unexpected benefit of using this extension is that I stopped judging people by their follower count. So the huge account with mediocre content went back to its "bland, not worth following" bucket and the person who just got started sharing super high-quality ideas is rightfully earning my attention.

Do you have some other suggestion? Did any of these work out for you? Paradoxically, let me know in Twitter or reach out at 😉

  1. If you aren't positive on that yet, take a look at Indistractable (book) and The Social Dilemma (documentary) for primers on the effects of social media on your mental health & effectiveness and on society.

    👆 Go back up