Late in the summer of 2018, I nuked my Facebook account after having it for almost twelve years. It was an after-effect of the 2016 election — the beginning of the end of my Facebook account was an argument my gay librarian peer had with my conservative Boomer father-in-law about why one might want to elect a populist con man as President — and it was an attempt to create a cold-turkey situation with posting, and commenting, and liking, and messaging, and endlessly scrolling.
I have not regretted my Facebooklessness, ever, and I cherish it these days every time I see mention of Meta and all that flailing around to find a problem for which the meta verse can be a solution. [“I am imprisoned to a machine that only increases my alienation!“]
I did fail at cold-turkey, though. I was still on Twitter, and I justified my Twitteration with how I used it “for work” and for “promotion of my creative projects” and to “keep up with what was happening”. Keeping up with what was happening during the 2016 election season was awful, and my creative projects were not popular or money-makers (and didn’t need to be!), and seriously, who are you kidding with that “for work” stuff?
Well, the time has come. Elon Musk bought Twitter, and he plans to work hard on Twitter and its features. This is not an investment; this is a project. And I don’t trust Musk at all — not as a manager or an inventor or a visionary or a force for good in the culture. If you think I’m wrong not to trust him, that’s cool with me. We don’t have to talk about it.
Musk buying Twitter is “an unhinged reason to nuke a social media account — something that’ll just make me do it out of spite/weariness instead of careful consideration” as I wrote (okay, Tweeted) on April 14.
So I went to blow up my Twitter account and discovered that I didn’t know how to do it.
I don’t mean that I don’t know the process — it’s very clear in the Profile settings how to deactivate your account — but instead that I’m not sure what are the best practices for deleting a Twitter account that contains twelve years of thoughts, jokes, and interactions, and operates as the Tweetdeck accounts for a pair of “brand” accounts (a radio show and a podcast), and has lists of people I like and with whom I connect only on Twitter.
I don’t have a plan. I need a plan. In the meantime, I locked my account (i.e. only visible to people who follow me on Twitter) and posted a short message: