My relationship with Twitter has ebbed and flowed a lot since I first joined the service in 2008. There were years when I was happily engaging with every follower and forging beautiful friendships that transcend time and distance, and years when I nearly disconnected completely, preferring to invest my time and efforts in in-person relationships. Now I live somewhere in the middle: I check Twitter a couple of times per day and I engage every now and then. I'd love to avoid using Twitter altogether, but sadly, doomscrolling is the best way to stay in touch with what's happening in Lebanon (the local news are a joke) and catch up on other tidbits of tech and medical news.
I've quickly found out, though, that I need to take a few measures to keep my sanity and avoid the endless swiping syndrome. The most effective trick is a beautiful puppy-filled alternate timeline that's just a swipe away.
The trick, as simple as it is, is to curate a Twitter list of some of the best dog accounts on the platform and pin them to my Twitter homescreen. That way they're always one swipe away from my main timeline, and all it takes is a small movement for me to be transported into another reality filled with cute or silly pups doing pup things and being awesome at it. It doesn't get any better than this. Scrolling here is a joy, and I often find myself replaying videos from tweets I'd already spotted the previous day, because who doesn't want to waste a few seconds watching a golden pup learn how to go down the stairs, laughing as a husky throws a tantrum, or awing at how adorable samoyeds are.
Left: Dogs list. Right: Good boys and good girls are always waiting on the right of my timeline.
The ability to pin lists has been available in the mobile Twitter apps since May, but very few people know about it or use it. You just go to your lists, scroll down, and tap the blue pin icon on the right. You can do this for five lists, then go up to the top to edit and rearrange them.
Left: Pinning lists. Middle: Pinned lists can be edited. Right: Re-ordering pinned lists.
My advice is to make sure the most wholesome and joyful Twitter list is the first one so that it's immediately accessible next to your gloomy timeline. Puppies work for me, but kittens are good too, or whatever other animal or activity or thing that never fails to get you smiling, unconsciously and uncontrollably. Curate your list so it's absolute and pure awesomeness. This is my dogs list if you want to use it as is, or get some inspiration from it for your own.
That's all there is to it, but trust me, this is guaranteed to brighten up your day. You might even look forward to opening Twitter from now on.