Be Genius


Bo Jeanes

I am an software engineer who has lived and worked in New York, Brisbane, Chicago, San Francisco, and now Melbourne. I primarily work in Ruby though am a functional programmer at heart and a fan of programming languages in general. In particular, I love Rust and Clojure but keep my eye on many langauges all the time.

Two months without Twitter

Two months ago, frustrated with inability to focus on the things I cared about in life and at work, I formed a theory:

Twitter (et al.) has slowly been rewiring my brain to encourage rapid context switching.

On average, it probably takes less than a second to read and process a tweet. There are often hundreds of new tweets between "hits," which means that during vulnerable times of the day (e.g. in bed before sleep), my brain is rapidly context switching hundreds of times in a matter of minutes.

For me, Twitter has always been about consuming information and learning. Despite the fear of "missing out" on interesting links or thoughts in my network[1], which is predominantly made of people I respect and trust, I decided that this rapid and varied consumption is not a healthy way to achieve this goal.

It's been two months since I uninstalled all Twitter (and Facebook) applications from all my devices. I still tweet occasionally (using iOS/Mac's Notification Center), but I make a point not to check the Twitter feed. I re-enabled email notifications for mentions and only log in to the web interface to reply to mentions/messages.

I love it. I want this to stick.

[1] Prismatic is a pretty great way of countering this. It usually cuts through the noise and gives me meal-sized versions of the best content, instead of bite-sized versions of irrelevancy.


  1. Good on ya.

    My wife just finished reading this book that sounds fascinating and relevant to your post. I will probably read it soon, but thought you might be interested:

    by Scott W. Bradley on
  2. I'll definitely add that to my goodreads list. Cheers!

    by Bo Jeanes on
  3. Interesting, I might do the same. Thanks for sharing.

    by Danny Fullerton on
  4. Think you could be right about this. Curious how you have found it?

    by Steven Shaw on

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