I quitted Instagram and Twitter for about two months and nothing changed

I have been using Instagram and Twitter for nearly a decade. After reading Digital Minimalism by Cal Newport, I decided to practice using social media in a more intentional way so I started monitoring all of my social media activities and values they provide. What I realized was that Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter create almost no values for me at all. It was such a surprise because I put so much effort to take care of them in the past. For example, I tried my best to curate almost all of my tweets, try to post the best photos I could on Instagram; but in fact, I received almost no values from them.

As a result, I removed all social media apps from my phone and practiced using them via my computer’s web browser instead to reduce the amount of time I spend on each service. I also tweeted a few and posted a couple photos on Instagram since that time but again, I received no values in return! Finally I made my choice and signed out from my accounts even from web browsers. I wanted to see if not using these social media services have effects on my life and the results was a big NO! After quitting Twitter and Instagram nothing changed. I still in touch with my friends and family via Whatsapp and if I want to share a photo with them, I just post it to our family groups.

To be able to stay tuned with the latest news I care about, I installed an RSS reader on my computer and subscribed to my favorites websites and blogs and I usually check them once every other day.

It’s important to understand that by using social media, you’re spending your time and companies behind those services are selling your time to other companies like advertisers. They make a lot of money out of your attention and I believe it’s important for everyone to understand what is going on behind the scenes. I highly recommend you to reconsider your social media consumption and decide how you want your time to be spent because all creatures only live once.

2020 is coming to an end ... finally

2021 is coming (Photo taken from https://www.mutualventures.co.uk/public-services-in-2021/) 2020 will be over in less than 5 days. It was not a good year especially for me. Due to some circumstances, I had no choice but to stay at home. I was supposed to join my new company by June, but because of the pandemic, I had no choice but to stay home and WAIT! Believe me or not but waiting and uncertainty are the worst things I have ever experienced.

Although I’m still waiting and trying to deal with the uncertainty, I did my best to adapt to this situation by taking advantage of it. I learned a lot! There were lots of topics either technical or non-technical that I was interested in learning them but I had not enough time in the past to dig deep. For example, I have started to learn a new language (Ich begann eine neue Sprache lernen 😉), extended my contribution to more open source communities, dug deep in Go programming language, and more importantly, learned how to work from home. I tried to be the best friend for my wife and a better father for my daughter. I understood that having a good family and relationship is one of the most important things to have.

I know lots of you may have similar situations but as mentioned in the Shawshank Redemption: “Hope is a good thing”. I’m confident that 2021 would be the year of happiness and progress.

Stay safe and happy new year!

In Misc | 26 Dec 2020

Automate tmux environment creation

As a software developer I always tend to tune my development environments. I usually do this by using and setting keyboard shortcuts and creating workflows that works best for me.

One of the environments that is essential to me is the terminal. I spend a lot of time everyday in it compiling and testing my code. In addition to that and because I love the simplicity of the terminal, I prefer to do other things than code-related stuff in it as well. For example, I use Newsboat RSS reader to follow up my favorite blogs.

Every morning I start my day by setting up my tmux windows and panes. The first window is for my VPN connection (Since we can do nothing without a VPN connection in Iran) and htop. The second window is always for backend development. It usually contains a pane that belongs to docker and docker-compose, another for running my tests, and another for neovim. If I do freelancing, the third window goes to frontend development and so on. Because setting it up takes a little bit of time everyday, I decided to write a bash script to create all windows and panes for me automatically.

tmux new-session -d
tmux rename 'dev'
tmux renamew 'vpn'
tmux new-window -n 'backend' -c ~/go/src -d
tmux split-window -h -t 2. -c ~/go/src -d
tmux new-window -n 'frontend' -c ~/dev -d
tmux new-window -n 'other' -c ~/dev/scripts -d
tmux attach -t dev

Let’s see what we have in here:

  • In line 1 we create a new tmux session. The -d switch creates the session in detached mode.
  • Line 2 renames the session name to dev in this case.
  • Since the session always starts with a window by default, we rename the first window name by using renamew command in line 3.
  • In line 4, we create the second window and name it backend. The -c option is used to specify the current working directory for that window. As you can see a -d option is also used to prevent switching to that window automatically.
  • Line 5 splits the second window in half. The -h option is used for horizontal splitting. The -t switch is also used to specify which window should be split.
  • Line 6 and 7 create two other windows named frontend and other with same arguments used in line 4.
  • Finally we attach what we have created to the screen using the attach command. As you may have already guessed, the -t option is used to specify which session we should attach to the screen.

The script may seem very simple, but it saves me plenty of time every day. One routing I’m trying to adopt in my life is to automate whatever is possible to be automated. I hope you do the same because it saves you a lot of time and hence you can spend that freed time doing something more important.

How Iranian software engineers are suffering from US sanctions

Before I start, I would like to ask you to take a quick look at screenshots below:

Golang.org website Golang.org

Github.com Github.com

Gitlab.com Gitlab.com

Docker Hub hub.docker.com

Google and Android Developers website Google Developers

Oracle developers Oracle Developers

You may have never seen such things before but Iranian software developers are facing many difficulties accessing these websites and services every day; and of course, it’s not limited to the above examples.

Last year, Github (an essential service for developers) blocked Iranian software engineers. So, many developers have migrated to Gitlab because it was the only accessible git service. Last month, Gitlab joined Github and banned Iranians and prevented them to access their software source codes.

In 2017, in an unprecedented move, Apple removed Iranian apps from the AppStore due to US sanctions and as a result so many iOS and macOS developers lost their jobs because they could not publish their apps anymore. To deal with this, a few organizations decided to use Enterprise app certificates to keep their iOS users. But, every once in a while, Apple recognizes these accounts and blocks them. Consequently, most iPhone/iPad users have no other choice but to use the web app version of their desired services.

Because of sanctions, Iranian developers are unable to access cloud services such as AWS or Microsoft Azure as well!

Nearly all developer services and tools are blocked for Iranians; therefore, developers must change their IP addresses by using a VPN or proxy to be able to access them. For example, Android developers cannot download Android Studio and its modules without using a VPN! This applies to Docker and Golang packages as well! Iranian developers must again use a bypassing tool to be able to access all of mentioned resources. It’s also worth mentioning that using a VPN in Iran is considered a crime.

These limitations are not just applied to software industry. Designers of all kinds are victims too! For instance, Adobe Creative Cloud along with services like Behance and Dribbble are blocked for Iranian graphic designers.

As a matter of fact, restrictions were in place for years but have intensified during Trump administration. They always tell the news that they are sanctioning the Iranian government but the truth is that people are the only ones that are hit.

I would to ask you to take a moment and think about it. Just imagine one day you wake up and you cannot access these resources. What would you do?

In Misc | 27 Oct 2020

Digital declutter for a month

About a month ago, I finished the Cal Newport’s valuable book “Digital Minimalism” and it’s actually changing my lifestyle! This book is a MUST read for everyone who is using the social media and entertainment online services such not just because of the materials and contents they provide but because after reading it I realized that we are waisting the most precious thing we have like never before; our life time! I will definitely go for a full review of this book in future. For now, I just wanted to share my own experience about the process.

Declutter process

The book offers you to quit all optional digital services for one month which includes social media, entertainment online services, news websites, and video games (if you’re addicted to it). The word optional is crucial here. For example, you may need to check your email every day because of your job and it’s OK. Or maybe you need to continue using Slack because there are some important messages that you need to take care of and that’s completely OK. But when I thought about my own life, I realized that there are just two services that can be considered indispensable: Email, and Whatsapp.

So I uninstalled all others:

  • Instagram
  • Twitter
  • Facebook
  • Telegram
  • Reddit
  • CNN
  • BBC
  • Lichess (An online chess platform)

Besides apps, I also quit watching the news on TV as well. Also, I tried to stop talking about politics and financial news when talking with my friends and family as well.

Replacement process

Unlike what I have been heard, the first days after quitting was not too difficult for me except that I had two more hours every day that I didn’t know what to do. According to the book, one mission during this process is to find replacements for times that got freed. So one day I write all of my life priorities on a piece of paper:

  • I need to spend more time with my family
  • I want to read more books
  • I have to shed some pounds and get fit

So I started to change my lifestyle accordingly to achieve above goals:

Spend more time with Family

Every time I get back home from the office, I was used to napping on our sofa and check all social media for about 30 minutes. So instead of this, I told my family to get ready for a walk right after I arrive every other day. Now whenever I get home, they are ready for the walk. We go walking for about an hour. Then when we return home, we start to prepare dinner together. This participation helped me a lot to get in touch more with my wife and daughter.

Read more books

I am already a reader. What I wanted to do is to boost it a little bit. So I changed our home’s environment a little bit. I placed the book I’m currently reading on a desk near the TV; consequently, instead of picking up the TV’s remote control, I pick up my book and start reading for about an hour after the dinner and before getting to bed.

Get fit

These days gyms are closed due to the Coronavirus; so, instead of going to the gym, I brought it to the house ;) I haven’t done anything special. I bought a pair of dumbbells from an online store and workout on days we don’t go for a walk. Furthermore, I watched some YouTube videos about exercising at home without any pieces of equipment. It’s very cool to see you can use you body weight instead of any gym weights. On weekends, I go for a hike either alone or with my friends.

So what about my phone

These days, I used my phone just for making calls, listening to podcasts, and to update my book progress on Goodreads. I kept Goodreads from my phone because it’s difficult to turn on my computer every night to update my process. When I get home, I place my phone somewhere far from the living room so I check it less often. I also configured “Do not disturb” to turn on automatically after 10 PM so I only receive emergency calls notifications. When it’s weekend, I tend to keep my phone on airplane mode so I can spend more time doing what I love. Sometimes when we go for a walk, I intentionally leave my phone at home to spend as much time as possible with my family and the nature.


In this world full of distracting stuff, we pay less attention to the things that really matters. Our families, our health (especially mental health), and our values need more attention! After removing some worthless things from my life, I feel more energized than ever! Quitting these products and services could be difficult and it’s not your fault at all because they spend millions of dollars designing them to catch your attention as much as they can and unfortunately our brain can handle a limited amount of attention. When the brain capacity it full, it simply ignores the other things; so, prioritize what matters and put your time and energy on truly valuable things.