I just used a service called Cardigan to delete the 10k+ tweets I’ve published since 2007, when I first joined Twitter.
I don’t know about you, but I’ve changed a lot since I was 24 years old.
It didn’t make sense to me to keep ten years worth of miscellany–silly jokes, uninformed hot takes, occasional sharp insights, and so on–up on the Internet, gathering dust, making advertising money for Twitter. I don’t want to support a company that even with a $10.8 billion valuation somehow can’t get it right and stop banning innocent users rather than the Nazis who are harrassing them.
I don’t enjoy Twitter anymore. Over the years, Twitter has gone from a great place (to stay in touch with friends and former colleagues worldwide, to find interesting research and industry news, to meet new people) to one that seriously bums me out every time I log on (every day brings a new outrage, smart people sniping at each other, Mean Librarian Twitter, and unintelligible memes). It’s become superficial on a lot of levels. It’s often used as a tool to demean and call out rather than enrich and uplift.
All that said, I’m not going to delete my account outright. Twitter is still somewhat important professionally, so I’ll continue using it to share the occasional piece of research or to livetweet interesting conferences.
But I’d rather let my writing and research speak for itself, in longform. And for my personal and professional relationships to deepen, offline.
I’ll be slowly unfollowing accounts who aren’t directly relevant to my interests or my work at Altmetric (sorry!) and hopefully logging on a lot less. I’ll also aim to delete my tweets and favorites every so often, to keep things fresh.
If you need me, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org (personal) or email@example.com (work).
With love and gratitude to my friends and followers for ten years of shitposting and networking…