Around the end of January, I decided to take a break from Twitter for an undetermined amount of time. Twitter was my main source of distraction, and I wanted to find out how much it affects my productivity.
What I didn’t miss
Filling every gap in my time with scrolling through Twitter. I do believe going without Twitter improved my focus throughout the day. Whenever I saw I wasn’t logged in to Twitter, I returned to the whatever I was working on sooner.
There’s still more than enough distraction (newspapers, Hacker News, email,…) to fill the void. Getting rid of Twitter is just a small piece of it.
Drama and pointless discussions. I’m rarely part of hefty discussions, but not seeing them at all for a month made me feel a lot lighter.
Staying in the loop on content. I expected to lose track of interesting content without Twitter as a portal. It turns out most good stuff ends up in my inbox through newsletters anyway. There’s also RSS to fill the gaps.
I’m a lot less informed about world news (the US specifically) I’m reading the local newspaper more often. That informs me about what’s happening around me instead of other corners of the world.
What I missed
Fun. It turns out, Twitter is my favorite spot for non-serious content and banter. These interactions aren’t replaceable by newsletters, RSS, or other platforms. Since Twitter is the only social media platform I actively participate in, I missed this.
A platform for questions and sharing. Twitter is amazing for collective knowledge. It’s amazing that I can ask thousands of developers for guidance by posting a question. The same applies to the other way: it gives me a huge audience to share what I’m working on.
I’m glad I took a break, but I’m happy to be back. In the next few weeks, I’ll do a major following cleanup, refocussing my stream towards things I really enjoy and more local accounts.