There is a new rivalry taking the world by storm. No it isn’t rugby’s Australia vs. New Zealand, or baseball’s Mets vs. Yankees.
It’s social media’s Facebook vs. Twitter.
Twitter has been on the rise and more of us are levitating toward its simplicity and ease of use. I for one, have discovered that it suits my life better than Facebook. Here’s why.
Facebook has the schoolyard rejection factor. If someone wants to be my ‘friend’ they have to send a request and I have to ‘accept’ or ‘ignore’. And if I am the one sending the request, I have to wait to be confirmed or denied – which is ignoring’s true meaning.
I often visit blog sites or websites, especially those of authors I respect, and see a Facebook link. You would assume if that information is listed on the fan page or biographical info site it is an open website for friending. Don’t be so quick to make this assumption. Even in the case of one professional selling her services, the request I sent came with a chastising reply that the Facebook page is for close personal friends and family only. “If you do not know me personally and if I haven’t invited you to be a Facebook friend, please do not send a request,” is a warning I received. Then get your damn link off the page selling your work to people who also do not meet these requirements. I have a feeling that an agent or advisor forced that link out of them against their will.
Then there is the ever unpopular ‘unfriending’. I had to ‘unfriend’ a couple of high school classmates that still bothers me. They weren’t doing anything rude, salacious, or wrong, they were just playing virtual games that sent updates nonstop. I went into my settings and stopped the gaming notifications on my computer, but for some reason it didn’t fix what showed up on my blackberry – my umbilical cord and another topic we can discuss further later. It only has the capacity of showing a certain number of messages per page, and each page takes time and battery life to download. Page after page of fake farm requests for fake hay for the fake horse or fake walls for fake barns bombarded my capacity for receiving real news about my real life and real farm with real animals. Sometimes as many as eighty or ninety in a row. I handled it badly, I know this now. I should have sent them a message and made a request. Instead, in a fit of frustration, I ‘unfriended’ them. The problem ceased, the guilt remains. But, the onslaught of begging for a fake wheelbarrow has ended.
Facebook also has a few problems with reputation and can’t seem to decide on a format. Just when I learn one, it changes. Yikes!
Twitter on the other hand, has little angst. I can follow anyone with a single click – with the exception of a rare few who have private twitter feeds. In that incident a request is sent, but these are the exception instead of the rule. Anyone can follow me and I can choose whether or not to follow back.
We can use hashtags (#) to identify a specific topic we are either tweeting on or researching. I often find other bloggers or writers this way and have linked up with many in my field without much effort. You can find anything this way. I found out when the Charlie Brown Christmas Special was playing on television, got plot help with a novel, laughed over Steve Martin’s zany tweets, discovered the Arab Spring as it bloomed in Egypt, and many more fascinating items. There’s a limit to 140 characters, so the tweets are brief and links can be shortened to take you to the full site if you want further information.
And twitter doesn’t change much. Since I’ve been using it the icon changed from a ‘t’ to a bird, and there was one other change that allowed easier conversation following, but if there were others they were slight and not totally disruptive.
I also have many more tweeps – Twitter followers – than I do Facebook friends. And the kids say they are going back to ‘Myspace’ since their parents have taken over Facebook. Guess we can even ruin the cool factor of social media when we figure it out enough to compete with the teens.
How about you? Do you participate in social media and if so, do you prefer Facebook or Twitter or LinkedIn or some other connectivity site?
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