Had enough of the president’s morning rants? Well, if you’re looking to take a break from Twitter, or go for the full divorce, then check out our full guide.

Of all the social media apps out there, Twitter has to be the most unique in many ways. The whole concept of getting your point across in 140 characters (now doubled to 280) was a revolutionary shift that caught the attention of hundreds of millions of users.

deleting a twitter account, a step-by-step guide
This is how you can delete your Twitter account easily

Twitter – A Social Media Revolution

Twitter has become a primary news source for millions of people – with live tweets from politicians, journalists, content creators, artists and everyday people. During the 2016 US Presidential election, Twitter was the single largest source of breaking news, with more than 40 million ‘tweets’ related to the election having been shared by the time the polls closed. This massive level of interaction and engagement has arguably changed the way in which public figures relate to the people. The fact that the first thing the US president does every morning is tweet to his millions of followers is a sure sign that the times have changed.

Everybody tweets, Twitter is a massive source of news
Everybody tweets, Twitter is a massive source of news 

But to what degree is this a good thing? On the one hand, the sheer accessibility of news is massive – a great example comes from the hit Netflix series House of Cards, where the character Zoe Barnes, an ambitious Washington based journalist, Tweets her editor calling her a c**t and becomes a sensation as a result. The live nature of news on Twitter gives people instant access to events as they’re unfolding and provides a certain level of transparency as a result.

The Dark Side of Twitter

But there are two sides to the story. Twitter is becoming increasingly well-known as a platform where people feel the need to make a spectacle and as a consequence it is becoming increasingly toxic. Rants and arguments are common and everyday users often feel the need to cause a stir to get attention. Joe Rogan (comedian and podcast host) and Jordan Peterson (professor and author) discussed the issue at length on the Joe Rogan Experience (ep. 1069), pointing out that the temptation to argue back to comments are retweets is huge and often takes on a venomous form.

Everybody tweets, again, but they all do it for attention
Everybody tweets, again, but they all do it for attention 

If you’re feeling the same way, or even if you’re just using the app too much (or not at all) and want to delete your Twitter account permanently, then here are the necessary steps. First, let’s look at how to temporarily deactivate your account (scroll past this section if you just want to delete it).

How to Temporarily Deactivate Your Twitter Account

If you’re not quite sure whether to take the plunge and get rid of your Twitter account, or if you’re just looking to take a break for a while, then the best option is to deactivate it temporarily. This option keeps all of your data, including all your tweets and comments, intact. In fact, it deletes literally nothing – but while it’s deactivated other users will no longer be able to find you or see you on the social media site or app. It’s very important to note that after 30 days your account will be deleted permanently, so make sure to restore it within this period if you’re only wanting to take a short break – you can deactivate it again immediately after if you still want to carry on the vacation.

Deleting Twitter permanently will cause changes in the life of a regular user. The level of disconnection you’ll feel if you’re used to using it all the time is very real – and this can be a great feeling and make you feel like you have more time to think about more meaningful and fulfilling pursuits (the same can be said for deleting Facebook and Instagram, etc.).

To temporarily deactivate your Twitter account, follow these steps:

  1. Go to the Twitter website via your browser (this can’t be done through the app).
  2. Go to the Settings and Privacy tab under your profile icon.
  3. Go to the Account tab within this and select Deactivate your account.
  4. Click Deactivate @username.
  5. Enter your password and click Deactivate account.
  6. Done. Now you can have a break from tweeting.

How to Permanently Delete Your Twitter Account

Follow these steps to delete your Twitter account
Follow these steps to delete your Twitter account 

Assuming you’ve taken a break and decided that the next level is necessary (or if you just skipped the last part altogether and you’re going the whole way immediately) then here’s how to send your Twitter account to the wind, never to be seen again (maybe). The team at Twitter are aware of the allure that the app has for people and they’re pretty keen not to have anyone leave if it can be helped In keeping with this trend, they keep all your account data, including all tweets and activity you’ve had on the platform, for 30 days after you deactivate your account. This means that at any time in that 30 day period you can claim back your account just as it was before with absolutely nothing lost. This could, of course, be seen as a good thing, proving a solid backstop for people who later regret their decision to delete the social media account.

Whatever your thoughts, if you’re determined to break your social media addiction, or just don’t use the app and want to delete your account to stop those annoying emails, then deleting your Twitter account is the same as temporarily disabling it – you just have to make sure you don’t sign back in for 30 days. This is harder than it sounds for a lot of people and it’s what Twitter is relying on to keep people in the web.

While other social media sites like Facebook and Instagram allow you to temporarily deactivate your account for as long as you want, Twitter at first makes it seem easier to delete theirs by not hiding this option like Facebook does, but the flip side is that users who deactivate Facebook are quite likely to keep it gone for some time and maybe even delete it as a result, whereas those who seek to delete or deactivate twitter are often kept aware of the 30 period and break before this is over. The absolute deadline certainty of deletion gives users too long to ponder whether deleting it was a good thing and so many will simply go back on themselves and reactivate it. This is a very clever psychological tactic of keeping users on the platform. To delete it permanently will take some willpower.

Good luck, reader.