Brian's Blog

…one man's contribution to the Weeeeerly Wild World

Minimalism and Twitter

I love being de-cluttered and that goes for my digital world too. I like to keep my Facebook and Twitter feeds down to a minimum and one rule I employ here (which can be used in the real world too) is the the One Year Rule – delete any post that is over a year old.

This process well cause some online tools to fail though – such things that show you how your life has changed over the entire existence of your Facebook/Twitter account for example. But I have found no use in such things, but it’s something to bear in mind if you strip out all the old content.

The reason I’m making this post now is that on Twitter they have made it more of a chore to delete old posts.

Some months back the delete icon was removed and in place were the notorious three dots [ … ] that you have to click on to then reveal the delete option, rather than there being a delete/trash can icon, meaning deleting a tweet is a two-click affair, at least.

twitter_three_dots

These three dots are becoming widely used throughout the web to hide extra/less common options, but I find they annoyingly hide the tools I use – like the option to Print in Outlook.com, and the “Directions by Bike” button on Google Maps (which I mentioned on this post). The idea is to de-clutter the menus, but in the case of Google Maps the single button replaces two, and it’s not like there isn’t room for two icons.

cycling_google_maps

These menus could be intelligent and learn which tools you use and place those on the menu, and hide what you never use. How many people use ‘Sweep’, compared to ‘Print’? I wonder.

outlook_three_dots

The three dots aren’t always easy to see either, in the case of Twitter and Google Maps they’re very pale, and coupled with them being a relatively new thing, not everyone will have become aware of them.

There is a further issue with deleting old Twitter posts and that is when I scroll all the way down to the bottom of the list (which if you’ve been on Twitter a long time and/or tweeted a lot and never deleted any of the old tweets, will take a while for you to be presented with the bottom of the list), when I then delete a tweet (which as mentioned takes a further two clicks instead of one), the page often (but not always) plonks me back at the top of the page, and I have to scroll back down.

Also (yes there’s a further snag!) if you click the three dots on the very last tweet at the bottom of the page, the drop-down menu is off the bottom of the window and the Delete option is hidden (but thankfully just about still clickable).

Oh, another Also… when you click Delete, you’re presented with a box asking if you’re sure… okay, that can be handy if you’ve managed to find the delete option hidden under the three dots and off the bottom of your screen and accidentally clicked Delete when you didn’t mean to… but it’s another chore-fuelling mouse move.

Perhaps the Twitter people are hampering our efforts to delete old tweets on purpose – they probably like you to hoard all of your old mutterings – data is money after all – or perhaps, as it sometimes feels with services such as these, they don’t want to assist people in their efforts to be minimalistic.

I have submitted this issue to Twitter within the constraints of their 500 word limit as follows:

The process of deleting old tweets has become more troublesome. 1st scrolling down to the bottom of the Feed, then one has to click the three dots to reveal the Delete option (instead of a delete/trash can icon like before). If I do this on the very bottom tweet the drop-down menu is off the bottom of the page and almost hides the Delete option. When I then finally click delete I’m asked if I’m sure. Then it puts me back at the top of the page and I have to scroll back down to continue.

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3 comments on “Minimalism and Twitter

  1. nexi
    12 March, 2015

    I recently cleared out a few hundred old tweets and came to the conclusion I would be better off keeping short accounts and clearing them on a weekly basis. Old news is no news. I’m also moving towards clearing blog posts once a month – or less (I post frequently) – for similar reasons.

    • Brian
      12 March, 2015

      Thank you for your input. “Old news is no news” – a good point there. I too sift through my old blog posts to weed out the irrelevant.

  2. nexi
    12 March, 2015

    Might be worth noting there is explicit advice to clear a blog of content before deleting nowadays, as well….

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This entry was posted on 12 March, 2015 by in Computers, Internet, Psychology, Technology and tagged , , , , , , , , , , .
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