How To Deep Clean Your Social Media For 2017

Many people will use the new year as an excuse to sport a new look, get rid of bad habits or accomplish new goals. But the new year is also a great opportunity to start with a clean slate on social media.

Facebook, Twitter and Instagram are some of the most popular networks that are used to share personal thoughts, private moments and political rants. Sometimes people overshare or unintentionally post things they later regret (like when they’re drunk). Others are increasingly concerned about how social media companies use their data, about encountering trolls or bullies online (or maybe you were a troll, now reformed) or by what future employers might snoop on their feeds.

Deleting an account and starting a new one is not always a great option, especially if you’ve built up a following or network. Luckily, it’s easier than ever to do a social media cleanse of existing accounts. Vocativ has looked at a handful of online tools that could help.

Let’s start with Facebook. Mark Zuckerberg’s social network has a delete button, just like any other site, but if your account has existed since 2006, it might take a really long time to comb through 10 years worth of posts.

The easiest way to delete postings in bulk is using the Chrome extension Facebook Post Manager. Once it’s installed, users can filter their timeline by month or year and look up specific keywords from posts they’d like to delete. For example, if a user just broke up with a boyfriend, they can search for “BF,” “Boyfriend” or his name and delete all related posts. Facebook Post Manager also allows users to go back and change the privacy settings of certain posts, which is ideal if they don’t necessarily want to permanently delete memories, but want them to be private instead of public.

Another, more sophisticated tool that’ll deep-clean a Facebook account is Rep’nUp. This online program will scan an entire feed and detect posts that it thinks can harm a person’s online image. After detecting harmful text posts and photos, Rep’nUp will send the user links to the posts and a reason as to why they should be deleted. The tool’s main purpose is to clean up a person’s professional image on Facebook and Instagram, especially for someone seeking a new job in 2017, but it can be used for any reason. (The site says it also doesn’t retrieve or store any login or profile information that might compromise a user’s account.)

Facebook is not everyone’s main social feed, though. There are people who prefer to use Twitter to share every passing thought, but there are programs to clean that feed up, too.

Tweet Deleter scans entire Twitter feeds for specific dates, keywords and even “rude words” that a user might want to delete. This tool can be great for those trying to score a new job or going on a date with another Twitter user who might judge them based on their long-ago love for the Black Eyed Peas.

Twitter might be a bit trickier to clean up, though, since its not just tweets that matter—there’s also retweets and replies to consider. Tweet Deleter thankfully lets users focus on particular types of posts with its retweet, replies and links filters. If there’s a specific image or link that was tweeted, those filters will help find the tweet and delete it.

The online tool is free to download, but requires a subscription for continued use and extended features such as deleting all tweets within specific dates. Those who want to use Tweet Deleter will have to pay a minimum of $5.99 a month.

For those who might have their Twitter and Facebook feeds under control, but seek to clean up their Instagram, there’s an online software called Digi.Me that automatically backs up and syncs all Instagram posts to a computer. The user can then go back and delete the posts they desire.

Digi.Me is free and can also be used to back up posts on other social media sites such as Facebook and Twitter. So if you’re going to purge on any of your accounts, it might make you feel better to back up your posts first — so at least you can remember how embarrassing you were, even if others won’t.

The Old Farmer’s Almanac Is Full of Crazy Predictions For 2017

To help farmers plan out a successful harvest, the Old Farmer’s Almanac has some handy guidelines on the best time to prune the crops. According to the American publication that’s been delivering pseudo-scientific weather predictions and strange cultural projections since 1792, it’s best to tend to the plants during the year’s time periods that fall under the Aries, Leo, and Sagittarius astrological signs. And don’t dare do it when the moon is waning — that’s one sure way to stunt growth.

Sounds pretty wacky, right? Well that’s because the Old Farmer’s Almanac is rife with absurd tips on how to go about various facets of life. It makes sense considering its dated methodology for formulating these predictions. And as totally wrong it might be, the book serves as a cultural relic people just can’t let go.

Among other novelties, the Old Farmer’s Almanac predicts that people are going to start adopting “his and hers” houses, with “separate entries, bedrooms, kitchens, and living rooms.” You know, classic separate but equal housing in “cute” hipster form. The Almanac also forecasts people will be moving into “partially submerged floating homes,” whatever that even means.

The Almanac, predictably, has a Twitter page.

It’s not clear what’s happening in that picture. It looks like the turkey is set to take a nice bite out of Little Susie Redcoat’s abdomen. That is, if she doesn’t fall off that pumpkin first. Maybe it’s another prediction. Maybe the Almanac was trying to say that turkeys are going to fight back this year.

But the Almanac’s main selling point, shockingly, isn’t its bold, forward-thinking predictions that people are going to start using chromotherapy bathtubs where the water changes color (admittedly, that does sound kind of cool). No, the Old Farmer’s Almanac was made famous by the long-term weather predictions given each year of its publication. They are designed to make farmers aware of deviations from average weather patterns so they can plan their ahead with their agriculture.

For example, in 2008 the Old Farmer’s Almanac said the planet was about to enter a period of global cooling? If only that hadn’t turned out to be totally batshit, the world would be enjoying much nicer climate right now. And that’s the thing: The Old Farmer’s Almanac is in no way accurate with its weather predictions. Shockingly, it’s patented mix of meteorology, Zodiac signs, and moon phases doesn’t make for quality forecasts.

That’s bad news for farmers, right? Wrong. See, real farmer’s don’t actually use the thing because they know it’s bunk and they can get better, more immediate, and more reliable information elsewhere. Lindsay Lusher Shute, executive director of the National Young Farmer’s Coalition, told Modern Farmer that she “and her husband, Ben, who runs a 70-acre vegetable farm in Clermont, New York, mostly rely on forecasts from the National Weather Service, Weather Underground, and their own personal weather station (when it’s working).” The Almanac is hardly even applicable to farmers like the Shutes. It turns out that the weather forecast for three months from now for an entire region, like the Northeastern United States, isn’t that useful when all you really care about is whether it’s going to rain in Clermont tomorrow.

All of this naturally raises the question: How is this still a thing? The answer, it seems, is cultural significance. Like daylight savings time, the Old Farmer’s Almanac is an institution unto itself. It’s stuck around this long because, well, that’s the way it’s always been. The 2017 issue, the 225th if you’re counting, ran letters from U.S. President Barack Obama and Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, each praising its longevity and cultural impact over the years. But why? It’d be foolish to think that Obama and Trudeau actually curl up with a blanket and read this thing.

That’s the power of tradition. It gives outmoded things an excuse not to die so they can continue to please the ever-shrinking group of people who actually partake in them. The onus, then, is on the rest of us, those who (correctly) think partially submerged floating homes are a terrible idea, to ignore them into extinction.