How To Turn Off Twitter and Facebook

Last modified on July 30th, 2009

I’ve been trying to get more work done during the days lately, mainly so that I have less work to do in the evenings. One thing I’ve been trying to curb is my Twitter and Facebook usage.

Some days I hardly use either, but sometimes when there’s a good conversation going on, I find it hard to pull away from. In addition, I do a lot of things on the computer almost instinctively, one of which is saving files after every small edit (at the end of every line of code I usually hammer on command-S, which saves the file — I don’t even think about it, it just happens). Similarly, if I have a browser open and am about to task swap, I usually click on my Twitter bookmark just to see what’s going on. Even if I don’t really care about Twitter at that point, sometimes that leads into five minutes of @replies and conversation.

So while nothing more than a brain hack really, I came up with a simple solution which basically involves modifying the hosts file. Simply define Twitter and Facebook to resolve to localhost, i.e.

Which will basically cause each of those sites to bork when trying to load. Obviously, you can go in and change those entries whenever you want, but it’s enough of a deterrent that I don’t find myself wanting to do it. What it does do for me is makes it so that if I accidentally click on a Twitter link (out of habit), that I don’t find myself suddenly at the bottom of the rabbit hole wondering just where in the hell @Alice is.

6 responses to “How To Turn Off Twitter and Facebook”

  1. Dave S. says:

    The only problem is you know how to turn them back on if you want the distraction.

    A better bet: Self Control app, — once you flick the switch, that’s it, you’re out until the timer runs down. It’s brilliant.

  2. Duane Storey says:

    Yah, it’s totally a hack, kind of like setting your clock ahead a bit so you get up earlier. I’ll check out that self control thing, that sounds kind of cool.

  3. Andy P says:

    Just tried the Self Control app. Excellent stuff.

  4. Duane Storey says:

    Yah I downloaded it too, looks pretty slick.

  5. Andy P says:

    The app does the same thing in your hosts file. I just ruined it for everyone. 🙂

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