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How To Go Dark On Social Media


Remember when you were young? When you posted embarrassing stuff on the internet, like duck face
mirror selfies with your friends. What about illegal stuff like drinking under age? Well guess what. Now you’re in the real world, and that’s all going to come back to
haunt you. So how do you stop your past from inhibiting future opportunities? What would it take for me to stay
connected with the world, but go completely dark on social media? First it’s time for the purge – of your timeline. That’s right. All the photos of your
14 year old self with photo booth
filters, they gotta go. Unfortunately though, no platform has a simple method for mass purging your timeline. Go figure. They want to keep the content they
depend on. So, it’s time to build an army of bots. Different third party cleanup tools like tweet delete for Twitter and social book post manager for Facebook. While super buggy, it’s as simple as anything else you
connect to Twitter or Facebook. You tell the basic app what you want deleted, and it starts scraping. Unfortunately social book will show you everything you’ve posted that it’s deleting – meaning you watch every decision you’ve put on the Internet flash
before your eyes like some ironic millennial death sequence. Other problem though. While you can delete everything
you’ve posted, you don’t really have the power to
do anything about your friends, or anyone else who has your picture on their page or shared something
about you. Best case scenario, you catch something someone else
said that you don’t like hanging around
anymore and you politely ask them to get the
**** off. All that being said, it’s up to you to decide if any of this is even worth it. Maybe it isn’t, in which case a more moderate
strategy might be right for you. Some have begun using apps like
timehop, that are meant to be more of like a lifetime spot check of ridiculous things you’ve put on the Internet. It’s designed to help people feel
nostalgic and reminisce, but it can be just as solid a
strategy if you use it to check up on the
random things you posted from years ago. If you find that one post that may
ruin any chance you have for running for
public office, at least you can get it down asap. Next it’s time to hit that delete
button. And it’s never just a button. Getting to the delete button on
Facebook and Twitter isn’t technically
complicated, but the platforms always delay the actual deletion for a few days before clearing out the whole
account. Which means you just have to satisfy that itch some other way, and not log back onto the platform
until it’s really gone. Again, this method doesn’t actually do anything for other people who’ve
posted content about you. It only removes what you’ve done. Arguably, that’s extremely frustrating, since most of being on a social
network is about being social. So all the content you probably want
down, isn’t actually controlled by you in the first place. The network effect doesn’t just
apply when you join a network. It applies when you try to leave it
to. Now it’s time to think about the
secondary effects of your actions. None of these apps are going to make
it easy on you through any step of this. And arguably, the most annoying part of this whole process is that any other platform you use, like Spotify, Tinder, Instagram now can’t log in the way you normally do
– like by hitting the “log in with Facebook button.” Because you
decided this is how you want to do things. Time to go for the old school email and password sign up. Lastly, because the sites are quite literally designed to promote
addictive behavior, it’s time to find yourself a
substitute. There isn’t really a substitute for
the social networks that run everything we do, organize every group outing we go
to, and connect us to everyone we know. Time to branch out into meetup and, I guess, Yelp? Wait. How did people make friends before
this? All this is just a bandaid solution though to oversharing on social media. You can’t really scrub yourself entirely from the internet anymore even if you do take every
precaution. But the silver lining is that
everyone else is in the same boat. So, when your embaressing photos
come back in 20 years to haunt you, just know that everyone else has
their own that they’re just as red-faced about too.

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