Read the full version of this podcast at adamstoner.com/tweetdelete
Twitter prides itself on being current. It is not a social network, it is an information network. It is quick, short, sharp and to-the-point and yet despite Twitter’s immediacy it also has an unnecessary permanence. At best, old tweets are of little value. At worst they’re a personal and professional liability.
In July 2016, I had 63,000 tweets. One month later, I had less than 20. There’s a growing body of people who, as Kevin Roose writes, use ‘homegrown methods to make their tweets self-destruct’. I am one of them.
When I began deleting my tweets three years ago, social networks were different. News that states were using them to try and sway international elections hadn't come to light, social media shaming hadn’t really made headlines in the way it inevitably would, and we had no clue that privacy scandal after privacy scandal would beleaguer tech companies in the way it eventually did. In hindsight, these things were obvious. If the Cola Wars of the '70s and '80s were about Coke and Pepsi fighting it out for your money, the '00s and '10s will be known as the Data Wars. Despite all of this, the social landscape hasn't meaningfully changed. Facebook has continued to consolidate and kill off competition either by buying them out or by cloning their features, leaving us in a world with three major platforms, Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, owned by two companies.
To quote Tom MacWright, who deleted his tweets in June 2017: What I write on my website is the historical record. I’ll use Twitter as usual - an outlet for bad jokes and links to blog posts, but it’ll be a fresh start.
Old-school newsletters are now my preferred method of mass-communication; semi-private, long-form messages that feel both personal and valuable. No algorithm, no advertising, no attention-grabbing bells and whistles. No behind the scenes talk of serotonin or dopamine or how to get you addicted. No foreign interference, no data to harvest. A private and meaningful conversation is just a reply away. I control the data, I control the message, I control the platform. I like it that way.
If you're interested, the newsletter's called Recently. It's a briefing on what I've been reading, writing, listening to, and doing the past month. It comes in the form of an email that lands in the inboxes of my subscribers on the first Sunday of each month. It's free and you can unsubscribe if you don't like it.
Sign up at adamstoner.com.
Connect with listeners
Podcasters use the RadioPublic listener relationship platform to build lasting connections with fansYes, let's begin connecting
Find new listeners
Understand your audience
Engage your fanbase