Twitter vs Facebook: Thoughts on Life and Social Media

20120903-190547.jpg

I have a love/hate relationship with social media. I love connecting with people. I hate the drama that so frequently follows them into their online presences. Years ago, I learned the hard way over a long period of time that online drama simply has no redemptive place in my life. This was back in the frontier days of IRC and later message boards, before social media as we now experience it existed.

Facebook is the biggest culprit. Because of its closed nature wherein users must request to be friended and choose to accept friend requests from others before connections may occur, it tends to be an environment where users who already know each other reconnect. Family, former classmates, co-workers, neighbors, and so on. Or people who enjoy strong affinity to similar interests. In my case a few such instances stand out: children’s ministry and urban mission, as well as writing and editing to a lesser degree. While there is much to appreciate about these connections, the platform itself tends to lull users into a false sense of privacy, thinking that they can do whatever they want without consequences. I’m pretty jaded. But good grief. Facebook has been an eye-opener into the interior lives of some of the people I know. That’s all I will say about that.

Twitter is an open network. Users may follow you without any action from you. Likewise, you may follow them. To be sure, there is plenty of bad behavior on Twitter. The difference is you can simply stop following abusive users or if necessary, block them. With Facebook you can unfriend, ignore, and even block people. But typically Twitter users tend to follow the people they want to know, whereas Facebook is for tracking with people users already know at some level. And if you unfriend someone you know on Facebook, it can be awkward the next time you see them offline.

I prefer Twitter. It was not always that way. However, I have learned there is less drama than Facebook and greater ease of networking with people who have similar interests, and generally better platform simplicity.

Facebook wants to become clearing house central, the hub through which people experience and record their lives. Not just their online lives, but their whole lives. Don’t believe me? Take a look at the timeline on your profile and tell me what you see, starting at your birth. No judgements or conspiracy theories. Just an observation of the logical conclusion to Facebook’s admitted desire to create open connections between people. Ironic, given it is a closed network, yes?

There are many other networks out there, as well. I don’t use them. I simply don’t have time or interest. Not yet, anyway. I tried LinkedIn once, but it was one of the most pathetic excuses for social media I have ever experienced, rivaling classmates.com for irrelevance.

On the right hand column of this blog you will see my twitter feed. If you are so inclined you may follow me there. Or unfollow me. It’s up to you; my feelings won’t be hurt. Or you can find me at twitter.com/glenwoods.

What about you? Which social media do you prefer? Why?

About these ads

5 responses to “Twitter vs Facebook: Thoughts on Life and Social Media

  1. Let me say “Amen!” Quite a few of my relatives- mainly cousins- and many of my friends from the past are liberal democrats. One cousin is that and gay, but he can’t let that be exposed online because he in an asst. principal of a rural public school. With the upcoming election I have been chewed out and picked on for my personal beliefs on FB and in e-mails. Not that I care about what I believe, I am just tired of it…playing duck and cover just to keep up with friends and see family pictures.

  2. What I meant to say was not that I care what they think of what I believe. I stand firm on my convictions and don’t have a problem standing up for them!

  3. You’ve hit on a central issue. The political season makes it very difficult to navigate relationships with people, whether or not I agree or disagree with them. I joined Facebook to keep up with family mainly, plus a few friends.

  4. I have to agree. It did not take me too long after to joining Twitter to decide it suited me much better than Facebook. There is a lot less pressure on Twitter. Your description typifies the differences pretty well!

    I have “met” several new people with whom I keep in contact on Twitter. On Facebook, it can be awkward to even connect with people you already know sometimes. But I use both, mostly because different people are there and sometimes its nice to be able to say a bit more than 140 characters. :)

    Something else I like about Twitter is the ease of conducting/participating in open chats. I’ve been conducting a weekly chat on the book of Acts with several people who I never knew of before Twitter–and more are expressing interest. It has been a great blessing.

    ~Sheila :)

  5. Thank you so much for your comment, Sheila! I appreciate how you are utilizing twitter in such a creative way to connect with people meaningfully. You are redeeming the technology, in essence. I have attempted to do this on Facebook, but I am not sure how helpful it has been to others. There is simply so much clutter and noise with all the apps and fighting going on. That’s the main reason I’ve taken a break to get some fresh air. :)

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s