It's Overdue, Time To Say Goodbye to Twitter!
- Adam Douglas
My use of Twitter (X) has really dropped off over the years since I first created my account on April 2009. Though I admit for a bit I was using it to help spread awareness of my work on Adamsdesk. I no longer enjoy my time with the service and I do not agree with the policy changes I now must abide to. It’s overdue, but it is finally time to say goodbye to Twitter.
My Usage of Social Media
How I use social media in my perspective is not the general norm. I’ve always been against sharing specific details of my life or of others online far before social media became mainstream. I value respect and privacy of others including my own. Furthermore, I’ve always used social media as a means to share as well as explore my joy of technology and hobbies by helping others in the context of creating a positive brand or image of myself, yet keeping true to who I am. It is without a doubt a balancing act of where to draw the line, though having this perspective helps to keep me mostly on track and to avoid making those posts that does not have value for someone else let alone myself.
Waiting It Out
Several years ago prior to Elon Musk’s ownership of Twitter, I wanted to delete my account, but decided that I will keep the Twitter account for now and wait it out. My reasoning was at the time, Twitter is better than Facebook, Instagram, etc. and I will need Twitter in order to reach people for the betterment of my business, Adamsdesk. Now, I no longer agree with this reasoning.
Reasons to Leave
Twitter uses an algorithm to display content within your feed, instead of allowing the user to have full control. To me this gives the potential to manipulate what I can and cannot see as well as influencing a dopamine response. As a result this is creating unhealthy behaviour and displaying posts I never agreed to follow. Saying this though on a positive note Twitter has finally open sourced the algorithm. I believe the only way one can gain control over your feed to a certain extent is by using lists, however I’m not certain if this is still true. In the end this just creates an unenjoyable experience.
As the years have gone by with changes of policies, API (application programming interface), behaviour and new ownership (Elon Musk) of Twitter seems to foster toxicity instead of a healthy respectful engagement. I will not deny, no matter the social media used there will always be some level of toxic behaviour, but things just seem to be out of hand, and no longer care to be a part of the circus.
Recently I’ve realized one profound question that I may have gained from my experiences of using not just Twitter, but many other social media services in a personal and professional context that I believe we should all be asking ourselves. Why have we allowed our social life to be owned and controlled by companies? No company will ever have your best interests at heart. To me this is a conflict of interest. You are not a human being, but rather a product that can be used as they see fit for profit. This doesn’t settle well for me and quite frankly no one should be in my opinion.
In the past there wasn’t much of alternatives other than the main stream social media. However, today this is no longer the case. With the Fediverse growing by leaps and bonds, there is a community out there for just about anyone that is easy to use and become a part of.
Overall I simply feel that my values do not align with Twitter. I want to have a system, admins and moderators that foster a healthy engagement and community that respects privacy, security, freedom and operates in transparency. I’m not looking for perfection, but a good genuine experience without the algorithms, and a system that doesn’t make me into a product.
Considerations Before Leaving
Before taking the action of deleting your Twitter account there are a few things that should be taken into consideration.
Backup your data.
A backup cannot be done during the deactivation period or after the account has been permanently deleted. Therefore, make sure to download an archive of your data. The requested archive can take up to 24 hours before receiving it.
Browse to “More” > “Settings and Support” > “Settings and Privacy” > “Your Account” > “Download an archive of your data” to begin.
Deleting an account is not immediate.
The process of deleting a Twitter account is done by deactivating it. Once deactivated this process takes 30 days before the account is permanently deleted. However, if the account is accessed with-in the 30-day deactivation period, and you have confirmed to reactivate the account it is then considered reactivated and therefore would require to start the process all over again.
Your username is fair game.
Once an account has completed the 30-day deactivation period, the username associated to the Twitter account is free for anyone to use.
Public personas, brand or image can be affected.
Deleting a Twitter account is not always simple for everyone. If you have an account that has a substantial following as a persona, brand or image one must think about the potential impact for impersonation if the account is deleted. In cases like this, it may be best to hold onto the account, but keep in mind an account can possibly be deleted due to inactivity.
In the end of it all what Twitter has to offer is not a desirable experience I care to partake in and therefore have decided to delete my account. You can see how little I used Twitter with my current stats.
- 139 Following
- 84 Followers
- 12 lists
- 2896 posts
Unfortunately Twitter doesn’t offer an easy way to delete your data before leaving. I tried to find an open source solution, but was not able to do so. I decided to use the free Redact application for Linux (AppImage) to delete my data beforehand. I realize this doesn’t guarantee that my data is indeed deleted, but at least I tried to do the best I can.
- AppImage, Wikipedia
- How to access your Twitter data, Twitter Help Center
- How to deactivate your account, Twitter Help Center
- How to download your Twitter archive, Twitter Help Center
- How to reactivate your account , Twitter Help Center
- Paper shredder by OpenIcons, Pixabay
- Twitter logo by Clker-Free-Vector-Images, Pixabay