I often delete my articles or YouTube videos. You might wonder why I do that. When I delete my posts or videos, some people might think I am weak-willed or easily change my mind.
So, let me say excuse and explain. here are three reasons why I delete my content.
Firstly, I delete my work because I think change is a good thing. In general, changing thoughts and will is not considered a good thing. We are often told, “Don’t give up” or “Keep your promises” and so on. Romance novels almost always end with happily ever after or finding true love. Divorce is never considered a good thing.
However, it’s our nature to change. Heraclitus, a Greek philosopher, said “The only constant in life is change”. Buddha said, “Nothing is forever except change.”
These are the words in philosophy, but it is the same in science. If DNA did not change, there would be no evolution, and there would have been no variety of species. First of all, there would be no DNA in the beginning. Atoms change their structure, and chemicals react and turn into different ones, and we consist of atoms and chemicals. If there was no change, there would be no progress.
When famous people post something on social media, for example, something socially unethical, and they go viral, they delete the posts. Nonetheless, these people are criticised, but they really should not be. Good scientists always change their minds and withdraw their past articles if they think their original idea is not correct or proven wrong by other scientists.
If you read an author’s works chronologically from the beginning of their writing career, we can clearly see how the author changes their ideas as time goes on.
Unfortunately, once a book is published, you cannot undo it, unlike academic articles. Therefore, we sometimes read some writer’s old book, and we conclude the writer’s thoughts or characteristics, but they might be completely different now, and they may be a completely different person. 1
If a celebrity deletes her post on social media, she should not be criticised. Even if it was just a minute ago, she changed her mind, and she became a different person. This is the biggest reason why I occasionally delete my articles, videos and social media posts.
The second reason is that my English ability improves. Especially videos, it is incredibly embarrassing to watch my old videos, and I cannot finish watching them. Sometimes, even if I didn’t think the outcome was great, just fine, I published it, because it took time to make, and it seemed a shame to throw it away.
That is why I publish imperfect videos, but I am a perfectionist, which has both a good side and a bad side, and I feel like I want to delete the okay quality video in a month or two, or hide from the very public eyes and archive it so only a few people who are really interested in my work can look at them.
Articles are easier to fix, so I rewrite them when I notice the mistakes or when I find better ways to express the idea that I am trying to tell readers about, but videos are pretty fixed. This is the second reason why I delete my videos often.
The third reason why I delete my work is that not only people but the world is constantly changing. First, technology is developing. The camera I was shooting videos with is a different one. I am using a better computer now as well, so I am not a pro video creator, but I can edit better quality videos than ever. Also, as well as my English skills, my editing skills improve as I make more videos.
Second, norms and common sense also change. A decade or two ago, not many people cared that English is a relatively masculine language. But now, if I keep writing the sentences like “The doctor is sure about his diagnosis” and “A man is known by the company he keeps.”, some people might not be pleased with the writing style. This is one of the big issues, but small changes of norms and common sense occur very often. Then, I feel like I want to change the writing style or spoken words.
These are the reasons why I delete my previous works. I do not think changing minds or withdrawing old works are bad. If I keep my unlikable old works published, a person who has completely no idea about me sees my old work, and then, he might think I am a different person from the me of today. Obviously he might consider me a poor English speaker and lacking common sense. I do not want that to happen.
So, I delete when I feel like deleting, but I will keep it somewhere, little hidden places, so that you (and I, actually) can look them up as side information of my old self. It is because I like to see how a person has changed and reached they are currently at. Many people enjoy seeing famous people’s photos when they were younger. Rafael Nadal is my favourite tennis player, and there are videos that how his English has improved, and the videos are actually very entertaining to watch as a fan.
Therefore, even though I delete it very publicly, I do not delete it permanently, it will be somewhere, but it is not my current self. You can find it somewhere if you really look for them. They are hidden where only a person who is up for spending time reviewing my past can find them.
I am Japanese, and I write my opinions as a Japanese, indeed. However, I am aware that my thoughts and opinions are minor in Japan. I suppose more than 99% of Japanese people do not write English articles on their blogs and make YouTube videos in English. Even with these, I am not a part of the majority of the Japanese. I think differently from most Japanese, but my thoughts come from the things and circumstances I experience in Japan.
Therefore, if you want to go and look at my previous works that I have hidden, you are probably in the minority as well and know me well enough not to judge me, even if you read about my articles in the past or watch my old videos.