Is It Actually Impossible To Remove Past Social Media Posts?

Over the last decade, the use of social media has skyrocketed across the globe. Whether people want to state their opinions on certain topics, express emotions, or share their pictures and videos, not a day goes by without people logging in to some social networking websites. According to Statista, 295 million Americans actively use social media as of 2021, which makes about three-quarters of the country's population.

Since most of us have become quite dependent on social media, we sometimes end up posting things that we later regret. From changing our relationship status to expressing controversial political views to sharing photos that we don't like anymore, we all have been there at some point and wish to erase those posts from the face of this earth. However, scrolling back to old social media posts and deleting them one by one is a daunting task. 

Some people maintain that removing past social media posts is an impossible task, because no matter how much time we invest in scrolling back to find those undesirable bits, we are bound to miss something. Besides, many users also believe that once something is posted on the Internet, it will always remain there in one form or the other. Whether your information is saved in the form of cookies, caches, or screenshots, you will always leave a digital footprint, even if you delete something you post by mistake within a fraction of a second (via Startups Magazine). What can you do about it?

Is there a way to delete your old Facebook posts?

While the notion that "nothing ever gets deleted from the Internet in its entirety" is still debatable, there are multiple ways to get rid of your old, embarrassing social media posts. According to Comparitech, if you don't have the time or energy to delete, for instance, your Facebook posts one at a time, you can utilize certain software or browser extensions to do the job for you. Per the website, one such option is to install a plugin called Social Book Post Manager, which will allow you to select your posts or photographs by date and year. It will not only give you the option to delete a post, but you can also hide, unhide, unlike, or create a backup for your posts.

As Comparitech further explains, if you don't want to use software to delete old posts, you can opt for hiding all of your past posts from your timeline. For that, you can go to Settings, then Privacy, and then Your Activity. Here, you will see the option to "limit past posts." If you select this option, your posts will only be visible to people you have added to your friends' list.

How to get rid of old Instagram and Twitter posts

While deleting old posts from Facebook is comparatively easy, you can't do the same with Twitter because of the complicated user interface. On Twitter, you can select the advance search feature and delete your undesirable tweets by entering keywords, phrases, or hashtags (via PCMag). However, if you think the task is tedious, you can opt for software, such as TweetDelete, to make the process smoother for you by getting rid of 3,200 tweets at a time. Another service that can remove your past tweets is Tweet Deleter, which can delete your tweets based on the preferences you set. It also contains some advanced features, but for that, you will have to buy a premium subscription (via Bustle).

As for old Instagram posts, they are the easiest to delete from your timeline, but once again, you will have to do it one by one if you go for the manual option. On the other hand, you can mass delete some of your undesirable Instagram posts by using an app called AI Grow, which comes with a "Bulk Delete" feature. According to 50 Pounds Social, you can also archive your old Instagram posts if you don't want to get rid of them altogether. 

As PCMag explains, if the aforementioned options don't work for you, then you can completely delete your social media accounts and create new ones.