Are you a Facebooker or a Twitterer? Or do you practice both?
I practice both.
I use Facebook to keep up with my family, friends and work-colleagues. I also have Friends on my Facebook that I knew years ago and perhaps I befriended them as much out of curiosity as to what they have been up to since we parted company as a real desire to befriend them again. Certainly these virtual re-unions suit me fine generally having no desire to rekindle them beyond that.
And to that end some of the chat on Facebook is a bit circumspect, minding my p’s and q’s. Rather like a dinner conversation where the taboos not to talk about are sex, religion, politics and money it is a similar etiquette on Facebook. And though I may get into a full-blown argument with family and friends on one of these topics around my dinner-table in a blue-moon it is not something I want to do on Facebook – for all and sundry to see and written evidence everafter to never let any of us forget let alone forgive.
Twitter on the other hand I take the opportunity to vent off on anything that is on my mind – but with Twitter I don’t invite family and friends. For Twitter I use it to follow people of interest to me and not being a celebrity myself don’t have too many followers – so can Tweet with impunity. For example there was an Avaaz petition recently calling on the United Nations to end their global war on drugs towards decriminalisation, regulation, public health and education – this is something I am sympathetic to and tweeted the campaign call. It is not something I would have Facebook Shared – there would almost certainly be friends and family of mine who would not share my views and I have no interest in getting into an online discussion with them in front of my other Facebook friends. So for me at least the atmosphere on Facebook is always polite whereas on Twitter it is more anarchic and rowdy.
I also use Twitter as an unmediated source of news. No political spin or scandal-mongering from the traditional news media rather I can read the famous and infamous in their own words – well leaving aside the matter of spoof accounts! This is good for politicians too though they themselves as in this previous post tend to be banal generally following their party line.
Comedians I follow on Twitter including Sarah Silverman and her father Donald and ‘his Rants from Boca‘, Jimmy Carr and Steve Martin among many others where they tend to use it as an opportunity to try out new jokes and material.
Writers will share their thoughts on the progress of their latest work alongside their thoughts on any other subject of interest to them.
I follow actors and singers too – but not on the basis of whether I like them or not but that there tweets are entertaining and interesting. I am not interested in following a star’s schedule.
A more diverse human life is here then my family and friends.
I also like with Twitter that I cannot waffle – I have 140 characters therefore I have to learn to be brief – and for someone verbose like me that is a good discipline.
I wonder if any philosophers are using Twitter for sharing their aphorisms with the world? An ideal medium.
Twitter has a smart and crisp interface too, whereas Facebook I find ugly looking and a clunky experience. Nevertheless I am not planning on leaving Facebook any time soon – it still remains a great way to quickly and effectively keep up with friends and family.
And I don’t just mean snooping on them!
- Will You Follow Gwyneth Paltrow on Twitter? (popsugar.com)