James Greenwood

My bit of the Internet

Social Tidying

Word Count: 647

I’ve been thinking about my usage of social media recently.

Instagram

I’ve a restricted account already here due to it being the place I turn to visually document my family life. I’ve a tight set of criteria for allowing you into my Instagram network because of that. Primarily, I need to know you in real life well enough to be able to contact you outside of social networking. Fail the test? You’re not allowed to see the pictures. I’ve no career needs here. This is about me and mine.

Facebook

I’ve found myself using the platform less and less. The more it changes, the less engaged I am by it. Full of ads. Full of news stories I’m not interested in. Perhaps even full of friends and contacts which aren’t as relevant as once before.

I’ve set privacy and security high and had a tidy up of contacts on there. It’s still pretty limited but I’m close to deleting the account. If it wasn’t for a select few of close friends and immediate family who share on the platform, I’d have gone already. Facebook, you may well be on borrowed time…

Review in 3 months.

Twitter

This is the network I’ve the most affinity for. It can make me laugh, it can inform and there’s nothing quite like watching/participating in sports or news events with others experiencing the same. Be that a Hull City fixture, breaking news, a TV show or general election, I’d miss this network if I removed myself entirely.

I’ve been a member since March 2009 and had around 25,500 tweets. Not a mega amount but not insignificant either. It’s possible to download a full tweet history as a CSV from Twitter. So I did. It shows a massive decline in output, a decline in tweets written and shared. I still check reguarly and I still tweet occassionally but it’s a lot less frequent.

That lead me to look at what I used to tweet about and interestingly the topics haven’t changed much, if it all. What has changed though is me. My position in my career and my free time to name but two (I’ve had two children in that time). I’ve learnt things I didn’t know in 2009. I realised I’m a very different me. If nothing else becoming a father in 2010 and then again in 2015 changed me more than perhaps even I understood. In fact, it’d be weird if the process of fatherhood hadn’t changed me.

Whilst I didn’t want to delete my account to get rid of the old tweets, I didn’t see the value in the old tweets being available either. They didn’t represent me for what I am today.

I’ve written a script that will delete all tweets based on a 14 day period and the script will run daily.

This will ensure that the oldest tweet in my account will be no older than 14 days old. (Yes, I’m aware Google may well index some tweets but I can’t impact that).

I’ve not done this because I’m ashamed of any of those previous tweets. There were no tweets that didn’t stand the test of time. I wasn’t worried about one of them being quoted at me and being ashamed of it. I just didn’t see what value they offered to me. There was no benefit in them. Your mileage may differ - what’s right for me, perhaps isn’t right for you.

Lastly, at the time of writing, I subscribed to 589 people for updates. I’ll be reviewing that list and reducing if appropriate too. To get the best out of my limited time on Twitter, I need to make sure I follow those that offer me some benefit.

So that’s it. Social reviewed. And tidied.

Regardless of what decisions you make regarding your social profiles, I think everyone should go through the same process.