How I’m dealing with Twitter in a hands-off manner

You might have noticed I’ve spent more time on Twitter recently. I was chatting to a new client for my agency recently and — as I always do — I asked where they found us. They said their team members followed me on Twitter

Sure, they came through our contact form, but the fact that Twitter was the original source ends my forever claim of “I never land clients from Twitter, just reply guys”.

So, with that — and after a very long period away — I thought I would dip my smallest toe in Twitter until Musk kills it off. I ain’t raw-dogging Twitter though. I can’t be dealing with the native app or site. Since Musk ripped away access to Tweetbot, that’s my direct access to the network gone. I though’t I’d get smart about it instead.

Every now and then, I need to come back to, so in Arc, I created this custom CSS to hide all the engagement bait:

[aria-label="Search and explore"], 
[aria-label="Twitter Blue"],
[href*="promote"] {
  display: none !important;

It allows me to pop in > do what I need to do > bail out.


I follow quite a lot of people on Twitter that didn’t move over to Mastodon, so I popped them in a private list — along with some dear old pals — then subscribed to it on Feedbin. This allows me to keep up to date with them (which I have missed a lot) and I don’t have to deal with the firehose that is the Twitter timeline.

A screenshot of my Feedbin, which amongst other feeds, shows a Twitter feed.

The open Tweet is by Henri Helvetica and it says "good morning DOM"
Look how lovely and quiet it is

I did try the Twitter timeline last week and immediately bailed out when I was met with the same old shit takes and performatism, so this Feedbin setup is the only way I’m gonna keep up with Twitter, because now I’ve broken away from the site, I just don’t have the patience for it, or the dickheads that frequent my replies.

It also means I can treat Twitter as just another RSS feed and consume it whenever I want. I never miss my pal’s updates either, because it’s a list, which is genuinely chronological with no algorithm bullshit.

You’ve probably noticed I’ve even got TikTok and Tumblr in my reader. For Tumblr, I just subscribed to the blogs I was following via RSS and for TikTok, I used this cool trick.

There’s absolutely no chance I’ll be coming back to Twitter properly because the mental health benefits of being away from it are astronomical. This setup also reminds me of how little content I actually wanted to see on Twitter, versus how much was stuffed in my eye holes. That’s ad networks cosplaying as social networks for ya!

Posting and replying

The canonical source for nearly all my posts is Mastodon. The great thing about Mastodon is every user has an RSS feed. I wire that up with IFTTT, which tweets the same post on my behalf on Twitter without me ever having to think about it, or importantly, go near

A screenshot of my IFTTT setup where I post a tweet if a new item in my mastodon RSS feed shows up.

If I post on my blog: it posts to Mastodon first, then Twitter via RSS. I like that setup a lot. I own all my Mastodon content because I have my own private server too, so I feel like this counts as POSSE.

I also use an app called Front for replying, DMs and occasionally posting Twitter-only content. I’ve already been using it again for a while because I get a lot of DMs. It’s just like managing an email inbox. I can also like and retweet stuff from there, which is handy.

A screenshot of Front, showing multiple Twitter conversations along with email

It’s also a great email client, so keeping all that together is useful.

Wrapping up

As I said to to Shawna:

…activitypub is the destination. There’s just a bumpy road to get there

I genuinely see ActivityPub as the destination, long term — along with more people owning their space online, rather than ad networks owning them.

Mastodon is and will continue to be where I am, but if this extremely hands-off way of dealing with Twitter works out (until it eventually disappears), I’ll keep it going, because like a lot of my other independent peers, you gotta be where the people are.

My take-away advice for you, dear reader, is find a way to use Twitter in a more hands-off manner and start building away from there, because it will disappear, or at least become a wasteland of boomers like Facebook.

👋 Hello, I’m Andy and this is my little home on the web.

I’m the founder of Set Studio, a creative agency that specialises in building stunning websites that work for everyone and Piccalilli, a publication that will level you up as a front-end developer.

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