27 Jul 2021

How I'm Treating Social Media

I’m to the point where I’m beginning to loathe my digital clutter. What I mean by this are those now pointless thoughts that have little purpose to me anymore, but are still out there, archived to a timeline. I began to ask myself why am I keeping this stuff around.

A few months ago, I came across content creator Craig Mod’s interview on The Talk Show with John Gruber, in which Craig states he deletes tweet fairly often, usually leaving nothing older than seven days. He expands on this on his blog:

Twitter can be seen as a generator of micro-plastics of the mind. And the entirety of it as a sea of these largely nutrition-free bits. That doesn’t mean a tweet can’t be valuable for a second, but it’s unlikely they’re valuable for, say, years (or hours or even minutes). Applying a tweet-delete mindset to Twitter (that is: a mindset of ephemerality, what you could perversely call Buddhist Twitter) makes it lighter, a little more fun, and a lot less serious. You can ask a question, get some responses, and then just delete your question.

The archival purists out there would then say — but! but those responses are now tethered to a nothingness! To which I say: Yeah, man, like, what is anything, anyway but, like, nothingness interrupted? Also: Who cares! Make a mess. Delete the mess! Try out an idea. Then backtrack! Retweet someone for an hour, then undo it! It makes the medium so much more dynamic, less staid.

Craig uses a script to do all of this. Since I’m lazy, I chucked up a one-time fee of $15 to a service called Tweet Delete, which will automatically delete tweets older than a certain age. In my case, I’m going two weeks back. For Facebook, I’ve employed a Firefox plugin simply called Delete My Posts, which gives some granular control over what gets deleted.

Anything I feel that’s worthwhile will go to my personal site. I have a pretty good search option on here so that I can find a memory or a particular beer review and so on. I feel less stress with this approach overall. Besides, I wasn’t ever going back to read my social media posts.