Goodbye to Old Tweets
Updated: Jun 8, 2020
Today I deleted my entire Twitter archive.
It was an interesting, spur-of-the-moment choice. I had seen a few people online who had low tweet counts and references to their posts self-destructing or being automatically deleted and it had piqued my interest.
Prior to my own great purge I had 12,000 tweets hanging around on my account. I have never been one for the posting of controversial things online. The internet is permanent, I thought, especially when it comes to employers.
I joined Twitter in 2011 in much the same way I joined Myspace, Facebook, Snapchat and Instagram - with a general disdain for its existence.
I wasn’t a regular user until around 2014, when I was using the platform to post corporate tweets. My posts until that time were reserved for random hashtagging or talking about the football.
For a time I had a seperate business and personal Twitter account but was convinced by the CMO of a large tech company to combine the two when he expressed a strong preference for the “memes” on my personal account.
Despite this, I was careful never to be too controversial on my timeline. Beyond some mildly-put arguments for or against various political parties and a window into my mostly left-leaning views, my footprint was fairly tame.
There are no great tales of love, loss, triumph, or despair. Most of those are reserved for more indelible platforms like Facebook and Myspace. It’s tough to even go back through your tweets to reminisce, especially when you’re as prolific as I have become, tweeting and retweeting multiple times a day.
So why delete them all, and why set it so that the new tweets are automatically removed after three months?
Twitter was always meant to be a website of the moment. One where your two-second thoughts can be shouted into the void. It was never intended to be a historical account of every minor idea and half-baked joke.
I suppose there might be something in having a neat and small tweet number. The same mild satisfaction that comes with having a clear inbox or scratched-off to-do list.
What have I lost? Not much in the grand scheme of things.