There is no doubt about the benefits of Twitter. This is a convenient way to keep your memes, world news and pop culture in one place.
But to be an active Twitter user, you need to sift through a daily flood of toxic characters, including QAnon, white supermasters, bots, deep fakes, and more (though you can’t find Donald Trump there anymore). Furthermore, there is no denying the stress and anxiety that the fast pace of Twitter’s news cycle and the tension of constantly debating responses can bring.
Listen to me on the question: you don’t really need to use Twitter. I know it may seem like everyone else is using it, but you can be the change you want to see in the world. You can simply delete your account.
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:
- On the web, click the “More” item in the lower left corner of the screen. In the mobile browser, tap your account icon.
- Select “Settings and privacy” and then “Your account”
- Tap “Disable your account” at the bottom of the list
- Go to the bottom of the page to find the “Deactivate” link
There will be a lot of information on the page before you get to this link, some of it is quite useful. There is a complete description of what will no longer be visible (your name, username and public profile), a guarantee that you can restore your account “for a while” if it was accidentally or incorrectly deleted, and a way to reactivation after 30 days or 12 months (useful if you’re besieged and want to take a break from Twitter instead of deleting your account completely).
There are also links if you just want to change your name, use your current name with another 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, open the Twitter app and make sure you’re signed in.
- Tap the three-row hamburger icon in the upper left corner. A menu will pop up on the side. Touch “Settings and privacy” at the bottom.
- Tap “Account” at the top. On the account settings page, select “Disable your account” at the bottom
A few things you need to pay attention to:
- To repeat: your account will not disappear permanently after this process. Twitter saves your information for 30 days before deleting it permanently. To restore your account, just sign in again.
- If you plan to create a new Twitter account with the same username and email address as the account you are deactivating, switch the current account to a different username and email address before deactivating
- If you want to download your data to Twitter, do so before deactivation. Twitter cannot send data from inactive accounts.
- Google and other search engines cache the results, which means that your old account and tweets may still appear in response to search queries. However, anyone who clicks on them will receive an error message.
Disabling your account can be a hassle, but Twitter credit is much easier than deleting some other services, such as Uber and Lyft.
But where will I get my news and memes now?
So Twitter is gone from your life. Congratulations! But what are you going to do now that you don’t have an endless torrent of tweets to scroll through? Here are a few more things to try with your newly discovered free time.
- Mastodon. Mastodon is a decentralized version of Twitter, which journalists described as “Twitter without Nazis.” Instead of a giant mess on a website, you enter various “instances” of Mastodon, which are communities with different goals and themes. Instead of tweets, you post “tots” and they have a limit of 500 characters. There is also a built-in content alert feature.
- Reddit. There are certainly some toxic sites on Reddit, but unlike Twitter, you are not forced to pay attention to them. You can follow and subscribe to edits for anything that interests you Star Trek to Furbies. Each subreddit has a clear set of rules and they usually apply. And if you get bored in a row, you can leave it without leaving the website.
- Tumblr. Tumblr is similar to Twitter in many ways, but there are a few major differences. On the one hand, 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 are not displayed in your feed, so you don’t have to watch other users’ arguments exchange. And there is no limit to the characters, so you can add some nuance to the posts you post.
- Facebook. Yes, there are many terrible, terrible, not good, very bad things on Facebook. But if you miss the opportunity to keep up with your family and friends on Twitter, you can do it on Facebook. You won’t be limited by the character limit, and you won’t have to worry about someone off 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 booths, bookstores, cafes and even deliver them directly to your mailbox if you purchase a subscription. Instead of being bombarded all day, you will receive your news in a digestible piece every morning. The best part: you will look cool and sophisticated to everyone around you.
- Just go to On the edge. Do not worry. We are always here for you.
Updated January 14, 2021, 1:45 PM ET: This article was originally published on February 25, 2020 and has been updated to reflect changes in the interface.