Delete Your Account

Jan 10, 2018

A few years ago I deleted my facebook account. And then restarted it. And then deleted it. And then restarted it. And then finally got rid of it. The winning formula was to keep the account, as I would oft be required to do developery things with it, but remove all my friends so the account had nothing of interest when checking it. Voila!

So then I got pretty involved with Twitter. Which was different because it was currated and I could build my feed to have things that were interesting to me personally and professionally. I found that because I rarely interact with people via Twitter, I didn’t wind up being exposed to any of the hateful spite and fake news. And when some of that did happen to cross my path, I could just block it. I also took great pleasure in reporting brands for dumb advertisements as well as blocking The Donalad for being abusive.

(Interesting side note: If you block the president on Twitter, you can still click through to his profile and read his racist trashfire tweets. If you block anyone else, when you click, it’s actually blocked. Hmmmm.)

Anywho, though I found it pretty easy to manage the hate, I still was spending a lot of time on it that I didn’t want to be and wasn’t getting as much from it as I wanted. I decided I wanted to replicate my facebook withdrawal. Delete the app from my phone, unfollow everyone, and just stop using it.

True to the great UI design of social media sites, Twitter makes these sorts of changes very difficult and very tedious. Or you can go and pay someone a bunch of dollars to do it for you. That’s dumb! This is the internet! I want my MTV! Freedom or death! Liberty or taxes!

A little searching on github and some modifications and a twitter token later, I got this nice little code-puppy working the way I wanted in about 20 minutes or so and double voila! I cleaned it up a bit and hopefully it will help you, YES YOU DEAR READER, to delete your twitter account.

(We need more code puppies, btw.)

The final coup de gràce (that’s French) was following just one single account, Paris Hilton. That way, if I casually load Twitter I’m confronted by the dumbest possible collection of information. If I REALLY want to get to my lists, I can, but I have to be willing to engage with Paris Hilton’s engagement to do so. Quite an effective personal detterent. Your particular detterent may be different.

Within 24 hours, I felt better, and have only occasionally missed twitter. I’m paying more attention to getting things via newsletter and figuring out better ways to get the smaller set of relevant information from my lists.

Suggestions, comments, and feedback welcome, tweet at me! https://twitter.com/nicholalexander