The benefits of Twitter are beyond question. It’s a convenient way to get your memes, world news, and popular pop culture all in one place.
But to be an active Twitter user, you have to scour a daily deluge of poisonous characters, including QAnon, white supremacists, bots, deepfakes, and more (although you won’t find Donald Trump there anymore). Plus, there’s no denying the stress and anxiety that the rapid pace of the Twitter news cycle and the tension of constant debating over answers can bring.
Listen to this: You don’t really need to use Twitter. I know it seems like everyone is using it, but you can be the change you want to see in the world. You can simply delete your account.
Don’t worry, it doesn’t have to be permanent. If you find yourself feeling empty and directionless after doing this, you can get your account back up to 30 days after that. But if it ever gets too much again, just come back to this article and follow the steps. There’s a whole world beyond your timeline to explore.
Deactivate your Twitter account in a browser
If you’re on a computer or mobile browser, go to Twitter.com and log in to your account. To deactivate:
- Click on the internet on the More item at the bottom left of the screen. In the mobile browser, tap your profile icon.
- Select Settings and privacy and then your account
- At the bottom of the list, tap Deactivate your account
- Scroll to the bottom of the page to view the . to find Deactivate clutch
There will be a lot of information on the page before you get to that link, some of which is quite helpful. There’s a full description of what’s no longer visible (your display name, @username, and public profile), a guarantee that you can restore your account “for a while” if it’s been accidentally or mistakenly deleted, and a way to restore it. to activate after 30 days or 12 months (useful if you’re under siege and want to take a vacation from Twitter instead of completely deleting your account).
There are also links if you just want to change your name, use your current name with a different account, or download your Twitter data. The latter is always a good idea before deleting an account; here is the link†
Deactivate your Twitter account in the Twitter app
If you’re using a smartphone, go to the Twitter app and make sure you’re logged in.
- Tap your profile icon in the top left corner. A menu will appear on the side. Tap Settings and privacy on the bottom.
- Tap your account on the top. On the your account page, select deactivate account At the bottom.
A few things to note:
- Again, your account will not be permanently gone after this process. Twitter stores your data for 30 days before it is permanently deleted. To recover your account, log in again and confirm that you want to reactivate your account.
- If you intend to create a new Twitter account with the same username and email address as the account you are deactivating, please change the current account to a different username and email address before deactivating
- If you want to download your Twitter data, do so before deactivate. Twitter cannot send data from inactive accounts.
- Google and other search engines cache results, which means your old profile and tweets can still appear in response to searches. However, anyone who clicks on it will get an error message.
Deactivating your account can be a chore, but to Twitter’s credit, it’s much easier than deleting some other services, such as Uber and Lyft.
But where do I get my news and memes from?
So Twitter is gone from your life. Congratulations! But what are you going to do now that you don’t have an endless barrage of tweets to scroll through? Here are some other things you can try with your newfound free time.
- mastodon† Mastodon is a decentralized version of Twitter, which journalists have hailed as “Twitter without Nazis.” Instead of one giant mess of a website, log into different “instances” of Mastodon, which are communities with different goals and themes. Instead of tweets you put ‘toots’ and they have a limit of 500 characters. There is also a built-in content alert feature.
- reddit† There are definitely some toxic spots on Reddit, but unlike Twitter, you’re not forced to pay attention to them. You can follow and subscribe to subreddits about anything that piques your interest from Star Trek to Furbies. Every subreddit has a clear set of rules and they are usually enforced. And if you’re tired of a subreddit, you can leave it without leaving the website.
- tumblr. Tumblr is similar to Twitter in many ways, but it has some key differences. First, the number of followers is not public, so certain members are not privileged over others in discussions or debates due to the size of their audience. Replies to other people’s posts don’t show up in your feed, so you don’t have to look at other users’ arguments. And there’s no character limit, so you can add some nuance to the opinions you post.
- facebook. Yes, there are a lot of terrible, terrible, no good, very bad things about Facebook. But if you’re missing out on the ability to keep up with family and friends on Twitter, you can do that on Facebook as well. You are not limited by the character limit and you don’t have to worry about someone outside of your friends list seeing your content.
- newspapers. This may shock you, but many media companies still sell physical newspapers and magazines. You can pick them up at newsstands, bookstores, and coffee shops, and even have them delivered straight to your mailbox if you buy a subscription. Instead of being bombarded all day, get your news in a digestible chunk every morning. The best part: You look cool and sophisticated to everyone around you.
- Just go to The edge† Do not worry. We will always be there for you.
Update April 14, 2022, 10:10 AM ET: This article was originally published on February 25, 2020 and has been updated to reflect interface changes.