A semi-dramatic solution to twitter. For me. Probably not for you.

It’s been said often enough: twitter is toxic.

That’s not a complete story–there’s a lot of value in twitter and other social media platforms. Properly tuned it can be a useful tool and a good place to reach out to others. In the past, for me, it’s been a great resource to expose me to the opinions and voices of people different from me.


My mental health is sometimes dicey. Without going into particulars depression is something everyone in my family is susceptible too, and with my wife’s and my therapist’s help I found that I was starting to slide into a bad spot. There’s a lot of factors to that, but honestly, the endless stream of stuff from twitter was not helping. We decided to embark on an experiment to change things a little.

I didn’t want to give up twitter–setting all the good above aside, it’s also a way I stay in touch with a number of good friends. But I needed to drastically reduce my use of it and the amount of stuff it was bringing into my life. Unfollowing basically everyone was clearly the solution.

I threw together some scripts to help with that: unfollow is a few bash scripts managed with make to backup your current timeline and then unfollow anyone. You can also build a list of people you don’t want to unfollow if you’re not nuking everything from orbit.

It undoubtedly has issues, so use at your own risk, and I guess PRs are welcome? That is, if you even want to use it–like I said, I’m not saying twitter is without value, and you might very well be quite happy with how things are going on it for your timeline. But if you aren’t, here’s a tool to help.

In my case, since reducing my timeline to just handful of people, I’ve found that my mood has generally improved, and those around me agree.