Cancellation Spree

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Quitting Twitter seems to be all the rage these days, and if you’d like to do that, here’s where you go: https://twitter.com/settings/your_twitter_data

Once you’re there, I humbly suggest downloading the archive of your activity first, then deleting your account. Yes, you will have to wait a few hours to a few days for the archive to become available, then download it. But that keeps you from the rage-quit impulse which is probably good whether you like it or not.

Me? I’ve exited 5 different Twitter accounts in the last week. But not because of Elon Musk.

I’ve finally been cleaning up my digital footprint, and frankly I’d forgotten that I even had different Twitter accounts. It’s not like I was using any of them, and in most cases I hadn’t for quite a few years. They were accounts that made sense at the time for a specific purpose for a specific project. But then, like so many projects, I moved on and never tidied up until now.

In the last few weeks, I’ve been on a colossal cancelation spree, finding, archiving, and deactivating not just Twitter accounts, but all kinds of accounts and profiles all kinds of places from Google to Amazon to Paypal to the dozens of smaller websites & service providers that were just hanging out there, dormant. Some were client-related drafts or experiments that never panned out. Some were bands or businesses of my own that have long since gone defunct. Some were just me being an early adopter and slow leaver. It’s time to leave all of this now.

I’ve also been unsubscribing like mad from everything, everywhere. Opting instead for RSS, where available and relevant. Most things aren’t really relevant anymore, though. It feels good to just stop tracking so much, as there is simply too much sprawling out in my inbox on a daily basis to track.

The truth is that I’m not developing apps these days, not publishing books or podcasts, not making music or stage shows, and certainly not touring internationally. These are all things I did, but I doubt I’ll be doing them again and certainly no time soon. Anything that I did pre-pandemic seems like it could probably use a full-scale reboot anyway. The world gets a do-over, so I’m taking one too.

All this self-canceling does take time, I’m not gonna lie. But it pairs nicely with spending so much time sick and in bed lately, so I just went with it.

Yet I still have plenty more to do! I’m sure this effort will stretch out into the coming weeks as well, but not months. I’ve set a goal of getting deactivated and updated in all my accounts, everywhere, by the onset of 2023, which in case you hadn’t noticed, is lurking right around the corner.

I find it’s best not to do extended sessions, but rather to dip in for 20min or so at a time. That’s enough time to solve a problem should you encounter one (I have to call to cancel an online service?!?), and leave feeling like some progress was made. Do this for too long in one stretch and it can feel like you’re not getting anywhere, when in fact you are.

Have you ever done anything like this? Do you think you might like to? Share your experiences & thoughts in the comments below as you please.

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