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Tweeting Is Better Than Liking

When I was around 11 I was borderline obsessed with America Online.  My father allotted me one hour on the weekend to get on and chat and one flash session a night during the week to check my email.  I loved the 30 seconds of squealing as our dial-up made the connection, the robotic sound of “Welcome!  You’ve Got Mail!” and the subsequent search for a chat room.  My hour always passed far too quickly and my conversations with new friends were never quite long enough.  It was a thrill to be able to connect with so many people without distance being a factor whatsoever.

We didn’t have DSL in our home until I was nearly seventeen.  At that point I had moved from AOL to AIM, spending as much time as I could on the shared computer talking to people I can’t remember now.  I joined MySpace back when you were only allowed 8 photos total and loved it up until Facebook was born and people started drifting its way.  I’ve tried Facebook two or three times and each time it succeeded in annoying me into dropping off.  When Twitter became a thing, I initially refused to join but reluctantly made an account after my husband.  Now I’m a Twitter addict, no denying it.

My biggest problem with Facebook is that it’s all about you, and not in a good way.  You can post a thousand photos of yourself from the same damn angle but in slightly different lighting and have your friends “like” it and comment on “omg how pretty” you look, giving your ego a boost it probably hasn’t earned and definitely doesn’t need.  You can post a whiny status update and people will flock to it with words of concern, or post one you see as clever and watch as the Likes roll in.  It’s a giant attention-getting game that serves no real purpose.  That aside, how much time can a person spend looking up exes and marveling over how fat old classmates have gotten?  I’m not knocking anyone for simply being on Facebook, I just can’t subject myself to that petty world where 90% of the people I communicate with will annoy me or hit on me.  Or both.

Twitter limits your rants and raves to a tiny 140 characters (unless you’re one of those rule breakers that use TwitLonger or another similar service) and lacks the Like feature, opting instead for Retweets and Favorites.  You can check this in your activity line and choose to receive emails whenever someone likes your comment enough to share it or favorite it, but it’s mostly behind-the-scenes unless one of your followers opts to open your Tweet and see the activity on it.  Unless you’re really bored, there’s no reason to do this and it doesn’t automatically show up, so if you want attention you had better be truly clever right off the bat.

Another feature I enjoy is the follow process.  Unless you have locked your tweets and made your page private, you don’t have to wait for approval to follow anyone or accept/deny those who wish to follow you.  There’s little awkwardness and more flexibility since having someone follow you does not mean you must follow them back or even acknowledge you noticed them in the first place.

Since Twitter is as easy as sending a text, all the extremely busy folk out there can afford to take 30 seconds out of their day to throw an update up.  This makes it much easier for celebrities to manage their own accounts instead of having their people do it and gives the fans a much more personal connection with them.  Right now, Gordon Ramsay is following me back, as is the comedian Ralphie May and Mandy Suiter of Noctura.  Kevin Smith also Favorited one of my tweets.  I’ve been able to talk directly to the DJs over at X103, talk with my favorite Masterchef Ben Starr, and communicate with Nick Santora and Domenick Lombardozzi who currently are busy working on Breakout Kings.  That’s just naming a few and isn’t bragging at all because it’s honestly not too hard to get your favorite famous face to turn your wait for a brief moment.  This is something I’ve never been able to accomplish with Facebook or MySpace, although I did have a conversation with Vanilla Ice once.  We stopped, he collaborated, I listened.  Sorry, horrible joke.

Social media should be a place we connect and share, laugh and joke, make plans and new friends.  It shouldn’t be a one man/woman show where the goal is to get as many eyes on your silly photos or tired musings as possible.  It should be a place where creativity matters, not where mediocrity is celebrated.  Most of all, it should be fun.  What is fun about scrolling through photos of every ex you can find and telling friends how ugly their new boy/girlfriend is?  Or stealing a clever quip from someone because you’re after tons of Likes and comments?  Commenting on a celebrity page and having to return to their page over and over in the hopes that they respond to your comment?  It all adds up to a waste of time.

Twitter may not be the greatest thing out there, but it’s allowed my husband and I to make connections we wouldn’t have made otherwise while still holding on to our self-respect and not trolling people’s pages in search of drama.  It allows us to be publicly visible as a couple which thankfully greatly reduces the frequency either of us are hit on; it takes big balls or a great amount of stupidity for a guy to drop “hey baby” nonsense on my page when my husband can see it all and will verbally assault him if needed.  It also doesn’t require us to sit in front of a damn computer for hours a day in order to use the site to its full advantage or to make connections.  It fits into our life instead of jeopardizing hours of our time.  And while attention whores exist there just as they do with Facebook and other social media, they’re not the ones ruling the site.

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About Jamie C. Baker

“Long time no see. I only pray the caliber of your questions has improved.” - Kevin Smith

Posted on March 9, 2012, in Life and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 6 Comments.

  1. I’ve communicated with a few “famous” people on facebook….only got one or two responses from very low level celebrities on twitter…but that’s just me.

    I like facebook because I am a whore…I like twitter for the same reason…..actually I got bored with twitter quite a while back and use it far less now that my phone plan doesn’t allow me a text bundle and i have to pay PER text ((((I used to tweet EVERY monday night during raw and made a few…or managed to twit chat with a few people about wrestling)))

    “I had moved from AOL to AIM, spending as much time as I could on the shared computer talking to people I can’t remember now.”

    I could almost chose to take offense at that..but I’m not…I don’t think i talked to you on aim but like thrice before losing contact with you again until finding you on myspace 😛

    Facebook isn’t only about photos though ya know…people post status updates en mass…or if they are me post things that should lose me more friends than keep or gain and that’s where you’re supposed to interact on facebook…….maybe I just don’t have enough attention whore friends that demand likes on their photos. I’m not trying to sell you on facebook though….per as I said I’m just there cuz I’m a whore….but if it wains and something else rises I don’t necessarily see me moving to that site…it gets old but I’m just one of those people that likes to have a forum where the masses can see or ignore me if that desire strikes them ((and facebook probably gets the most looks right now))

    also you know some of those twitter accounts…despite what they claim..the person who’s name is portrayed ain’t always on the other end tweeting, responding, favoring, or replying; Not saying that is or isn’t the case for you but always have to take things with a grain of salt on the stupid interwebs.

    (((though I’m still convince I talked to big van vader on aol prior to a royal rumble a ton of years ago…it was an official chat room so if it wasn’t him…lame…but if it was him it was funny because the exchange was like me believing in the fairy tale of wrestling and him sticking to his character ((((if you don’t know who he is he was on a few episodes of boy meets world…playing himself)))) )))

    anywho; I really need to start a blog again somewhere so I don’t have to blow up yours or the other few I randomly find with comments that no body really cares to read..haha.

    • I’m 99% sure that you’re the only person from my AOL/AIM days that I actually still talk to. Sadly, I really don’t even talk to friends from Georgia anymore. Like Paula, who helped me meet the husband (unintentionally) is busy with her kids and married life, so we dropped off. Applebee’s friends were more like drinking/concert buddies, so without that we don’t have much. Not complaining though, we have a friend on the way over and a concert tomorrow night 🙂

  2. Facebook is just an excuse for Mark Zuckerberg (sp) to get rich and laugh at people behind their backs as he hacks their personal information.

  3. Also, Twitter will forever be better than Facebook. MySpace is better than Facebook. Friendster is better than Facebook. A hand written letter sent by the post office is better than Facebook. A carrier pigeon is better than Facebook. Have I made my position clear? Tweet that.

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