Delete your tweets

Each year I delete all my old tweets.

Disadvantages to keeping your old tweets around:

  • No-one reads them.
  • They’re difficult to search through.
  • They’ve probably lost most of their context.
  • You might have changed your mind, or they’ve become outdated.
  • Shitposting is usually a lot less funny in retrospect.

Advantages to keeping your old tweets around:

  • The dubious ability to quote tweet an old take/prediction that turned out to be true. (How many times have you seen the someone do this with a prediction that turned out wrong?).

It’s pretty easy to automate. You’ll first need to sign up for the twitter developer API, but once you’ve got a key you can use something like python-twitter to delete everything with a timestamp in a certain range. You will also archive them easily as part of this process, so you’re not really losing anything.

Keep a blog instead

Blog posts are better than writing long threads out on twitter, because:

  • Once you get past 2-3 tweets, threads are difficult to read (and not really what twitter was designed for). I’m sorry but I’m very unlikely to click on something that starts 🧵 1/25
  • There’s no good history, partly due to the search being difficult to use, partly because of users deleting things. Many times I’ve wanted to find someone’s useful tweet thread, but have been unable to. Not a problem with blogs, which are usually indexed by google.
  • You can put pretty much whatever you want in your blog’s html, and it can be as long as you like.
  • No algorithm to contend with (though to be fair to twitter, it’s one of the easier ones to turn off their algorithm by switching to the ‘most recent first’ view).

The two main issues are that 1) it takes more effort to maintain your own blog (and if you don’t, it’s equally likely to disappear) and 2) no-one reads your blog, but they do read twitter.

I use twitter to post links to this blog (partly helping with #2?), but in 2022 I’m going to try and read/subscribe to blogs more, and read twitter less. Here are some blogs I’ve enjoyed, and that you might enjoy too: