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Twitter versus Facebook: where is the love?

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Fairly Odd Mother

Frantically waving my magic wand to make wishes come true.

Thursday, February 05, 2009

Twitter versus Facebook: where is the love?


I've recently rejoined Facebook.

The first time I joined, it was as "Fairly Odd Mother", and I quit after a few months when the whole "Facebook hates breasts" controversy erupted. I was lured back in by friends who kept telling me of everyone I knew who had joined. This time, I joined using my real name, maiden name and all.


Twitter has been my little pal for a while longer. It took me a while to understand Twitter, and most importantly, to build up enough people to follow to make it interesting. Now I've progressed to the point where my Twitter updates are on the sidebar of this blog. I even use Tweetchat when I want to focus on a single topic (like Battlestar Gallactica Friday night at 10pm; Tweetchat room #bsg).

So, which do I prefer?

On Facebook, I now have 119 friends which include my husband, people I knew in high school and college (and haven't seen in over 20 years), my husband's aunt, my brother-in-law, people I only know through the blogosphere, and an ex-boyfriend and ex-boss. My photos, bio and even a link to this "anonymous" blog is now splayed out for all those people to see.

On Twitter, I am following 354 people and have 514 following me. This is not because what I say on Twitter is so interesting, but rather I get a little lazy in following people back. At some point, I'll probably follow most of those people too, except for Holy God, who I suspect isn't really who I think it is.

When I write my little (140 characters or less) quips on Twitter, I think less about what people will think of me. First of all, I'm "Fairly Odd Mother" and not my "real" name.

Second, what I say will soon get pushed to the bottom of the page and not be sitting there for hours and hours for my "followers" to read and ponder.

So, if Facebook is like having a meaningful relationship with someone, where you tell them the "25 random things about me" and send them little gifts or "pokes", Twitter is more like a "wham-bam-thank-you-man, get in/get out, hope-you-had-fun, now get the hell out of my bed" quickie. You may laugh, you may cry, but in the end you can walk away relatively unscathed.

I prefer the quickie.

That isn't to say I dislike Facebook. I've learned a ton of things about friends, love seeing photos from people I don't get to see in person nearly enough, and think there is something warm and fuzzy about getting friend requests from people I haven't talked to in a while.

But, when it comes to which is more of a time drain, Twitter is where it's at for me.

So, what about you? Do you have a preference? Do you use both? If one but not the other, why?

Or, if you use MySpace instead, what the hell are you thinking? Seriously, doesn't it give you a headache?

Maybe I'm just too old.

Labels: ,

18 Comments:

Blogger catnip said...

I use both, but I'm slightly less inhibited on twitter. On facebook I constantly think - OMG if post this so and so from high school is going to read it. I did put my blog on there too, and hardly any of them have even noticed!

8:56 AM  
Blogger Sunshine said...

I don't Twitter, but I love Facebook because of the old friends I've found.

MySpace, in my opinion, is for people still young enough to get lectured about birth control.

I have 400 plus people on Facebook and there are varying relationships but it doesn't really hinder what I say or share, I'm still just me. If the person gets offended by anything, they can unfriend me.

But if I had a traditional job, I would not friend my boss probably, a few friends have told me that is a VERY bad idea. A whole new can of worms there!!

9:51 AM  
Blogger Whirlwind said...

I haven't been around Twitter much lately, but mostly because I;m to lazy to stop following people who feel the need to spam their blogs every 2.5 seconds.

I like Facebook - I've reconnected with alot of people and learned more about others. However, I'm starting to dislike how my anonymity online is gone. Before, I used to just worry about offending my family on my blog. Now I have friends, school parents, soccer friends and playgroup friends who can read. So now... yeah, I can just piss everyone off.

But I do love me my Facebook, so screw them all!

10:03 AM  
Blogger T with Honey said...

I prefer the quickie, I mean, twitter. I've only been on Facebook for a few months but over the past month I've been going there less and less. I really don't like how if one person I've 'friended' from HS comments on a picture or status or note then all their friends, including some people I've worked very hard to distance myself from can all see it too.

Plus on twitter I'm just twithhoney and I love the distance/anonymity.

10:18 AM  
Blogger Robin said...

I had the same start/stop thing with FB after the whole bf'ing fiasco, but like you eventually rejoined under my real name. I tend to use the two differently - FB has been great for getting back in touch with a bunch of people I'd lost over there years, while twitter is more just for the occasional chatter. I try to keep my twitter followings down to something manageable so it doesn't become a huge timesink like blogging or FB.

10:31 AM  
Blogger Fear and Parenting in Las Vegas said...

I'm yet to get into FB, I Twitter, but I find it difficult to have meaningful conversations on either. That's why I Plurk. Conversations stay bundled and teh chronologies are much easier to follow. We'd love to have you in the village.

11:29 AM  
Blogger jenny said...

I'm still on the fence. I haven't twittered in awhile, and I got a bunch of friend requests so I started Facebooking more. (great verb use, eh?)

And now?

I do like the fact that I've reconnected with a few of the people on my list but mostly? Meh. I'm already checking it less than I was two weeks ago.

I don't like the self-edit I have to do on Facebook, too many real-life folks are on it now, so my comments are blander and blander.

1:53 PM  
Blogger toyfoto said...

I'm kinda hoping they both lose their popularity a bit soon.

I've had a twitter profile since 2007 but I only got it because I wanted to know what it was about and it seemed a plausable way to let my friends know the baby had arrived without phoning everyone individually. I couldn't figure out how to get my phone to tweet though, so we phoned everyone anyway.

Personally? And I know I'm going to sound like an old witch, but I don't want to follow people's lives into the coffee shop for a mocha, or when they stub their toe as they're picking up toys, or when they have exaspirating moments and collectively shut down advertising campaigns.

AND. ... Facebook; while interesting in its way of reconnecting people who may have actually known one another before the miracle of the Interwebs, it is equal parts strange to me. I can see where the society as a whole could actually shift because people now have an easy way of living in the past ... and I just wonder will our childhood memories change or will we regress? Or will there be something else?

2:29 PM  
OpenID katesaid said...

I just can't sustain sufficient interest in Twitter. I've tried a few times, and keep burning out... a month goes by, and then I get a "So-and-so is now following you on Twitter" email, and I think, "Oh, right, I have a twitter account. I should just delete it, really.

Facebook is more fun for me, because you can do the pointless mindless one-liners but there's other things to do, as well. So I can waste as much (or as little) time as I want there.

3:29 PM  
Blogger SabrinaT said...

I just joined Facebook. It is a riot. I awoke to gifts like Aquanet hairspray, and leg warmers..
I don't know what Twitter is, so for now I will stick with Facebook.

5:27 PM  
Blogger margalit said...

I only use Facebook to stalk my kids pages and see what dubious things they are up to. I have one friend other than my kids and their friends. I never update it, I never even bother to check it. It's useless to me.

I do twitter, as you know, but I'm not of the ilk that twitters all day every day. I unfriend those people fast. Attention hogs.

I also use LinkedIn for business practices, but it's under my real name and nobody knows what that is, so it keeps work totally separate from fun.

6:10 PM  
Blogger Summer said...

I prefer Twitter over Facebook. Honestly, I'm not really sure how to connect on Facebook. Twitter makes more sense to me because it's a conversation. Facebook is just a stream of notes. But then I don't have many old friends I want to connect to, so that probably taints me view.

11:38 AM  
Blogger Issas Crazy World said...

I don't want the mean people to be able to find me, so i won't join Facebook. If I wanted to find people, I'd Google them. Now, I've never joined it, so I've actually never seen a page, but it seems like an adult version of Myspace. So, yeah no.

Now Twitter, I love. But I only talk to blogger friends.

4:01 PM  
Blogger Beth said...

I don't Twitter and I only kinda sorta maybe just a little do Facebook (and it isn't associated with my blog at all). I really don't want to be found.

8:17 PM  
Blogger mothergoosemouse said...

Facebook? You're back on Facebook?

Where's the breastfeeding solidarity, my sister?

12:59 AM  
Blogger Sus said...

I am with you: My Space is outrageously overwhelming. (But maybe I'm as old as you are?)

I twitter and facebook - sounds as if I had the same evolution as you. But, I must say that I've mostly given up tweeting for facebook updates. I should really tweet again. It was fun, those little quickies. I like facebook because, let's face it, I am a voyeur.

7:16 AM  
OpenID pandorican said...

I totally agree on all counts. I even did the exact same thing with my facebook account. Deleted it because of the boob issue, then rejoined after the nagging of many friends who ONLY used Facebook and insisted. And I now have my (mostly) anonymous blog linked for real people to see. I do prefer Twitter for its intrinsic snark and entertainment appeal, and myspace makes me want to spork my eyes out with, well, sporks.

9:34 AM  
Blogger jodifur said...

I refuse to join Facebook. But I love twitter. Facebook is too many "real life" people for me. And I don't tell real life people I blog.

7:44 AM  

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