My approach and philosophy towards social media is similar to the idea of supermarkets and produce. In this post I’ll go over my philosophy, as well as why I think it’s important to do some spring cleaning. I will also share a tool/app I’ve created (and made open source) which allows you to quickly clean your Twitter account of likes and tweets.
To me, social networks has always been about consumption: putting good content out there, and consuming (liking/retweeting/share) what you want to consume (like/retweet/share). And this is a cycle.
Each of us is a supplier and a consumer: we put content out there for the world to see, and we also consume things. We are what we tweet. And we are what we retweet.
My thoughts on social media can be explained best by supermarkets and basic business. We share produce that we hope will be consumed (by many people). I make a conscientious effort to share valuable produce.
Over time, most produce that has been left out in the open loses its value and eventually becomes a liability in the forms of opportunity costs (taking up limited space) and/or inventory costs (cost to store/keep the product).
To relate this to social media: we usually don’t remember what we posted/tweeted about a year or 2 years ago. In most cases, they do not present much benefit to you; in fact, like what I alluded to above, they become a liability. I won’t go into detail on this, but consider people who decide to make themselves public: running for an election, applying for a job position, trying to impress someone. And then there’s that one thing on their timeline they have no recollection of making.
This leads into the latter half of this post: social media spring cleaning.
There is typically no “Delete All” button in social media platforms. Speaking to Twitter, there are services out there which help you purge your accounts of tweets, but in return you have to grant them permission to your account and there is no way to see what data they collect.
Because I felt uncomfortable with this, I’ve went ahead and spent a couple hours developing my own service that helps people remove their likes and/or tweets. I’ve used it on my own Twitter account. And I’ve made it open source.
To use it: go to the above link, authorize the app to access your tweets, which will then show you options as to what Twitter data you’d like to remove.
If you want to look at the code or set it up yourself, you can view the code on Github.
As a developer, it felt a little hypocritical creating something to destroy something.
One social platform down, a couple more to go.