I stumbled into an argument last night during our youth service. I typically remain neutral when students are arguing about something but this one was too interesting to stay out of. This small group of young people were discussing why they liked Twitter or Facebook best. It was interesting to hear that age group’s perception of what each form of social media was for. I found it increasingly difficult to stay quiet so I jumped in with the reasons I like Twitter and couldn’t care less about Facebook. Here are those reasons.
1. I hate creepin’.
Facebook can turn even the most honest, sincere, and pure friend into a creepy stalker looking for the juciest gossip. I have found myself friending someone just so I can see what types of people they hang out with or what kind of stuff they do when they’re having fun. I’ve even sat for ten minutes looking at picture after picture until I realized how creepy I was being. I then scolded my creeper self and closed the Facebook tab immediately.
I don’t think looking at peoples pictures or statuses is a bad thing, after all, they put them there and decided to friend request me. I’m just saying it made me feel dirty. The info on there is simply gossip fodder. It is so easy to take pictures and updates and create a life for this person that may be the exact opposite of who they really are.
Twitter can still be used to creep but I find it a lot easier to be content just letting what they tweet show up in my feed when they tweet it. I rarely feel the need to go check out everything they’ve done in the past week on their profile.
2. I love character limits.
Someone posted the other day that if you can’t get what you have to say down to 140 (or 120) characters you’re not thinking about it enough. That solidified one of my biggest reasons for liking twitter. If what you have to say is long and drawn out you have to think about it enough to edit it down. When you do this you think about what your saying and hopefully self edit your content a bit. I am always shocked and often annoyed by some of what I read on people’s Facebook statuses. I rarely see something on twitter I think that person will regret having posted. Then again, I don’t follow Charlie Sheen.
3. I like building new relationships instead of pretending to still have old ones.
Facebook is widely used for connecting with old friends. While this can be an exciting thought and possibly life changing it’s all a bit creepy (refer to #1) to me.
Being on Twitter has given me the opportunity to connect with so many people that I never would have met otherwise. While I have never seen many of these people in real life, some of them have become a part of what I do for hobbies or even helped me with things I do for my job. Genuine, real people are out there and if they turn out to be creepers they’re just an unfollow away from oblivion. It’s wonderful.
4. MySpace syndrome.
One of the most tell tale things about the conversation I jumped in on last night was what age group was represented on each side. It seemed that the most hardcore Twitter advocates were the oldest and those willing to defend Facebook with their lives were the yougest in the group. Facebook is the most popular pastime for teens these days. I call this the MySpace syndrome.
Everyones biggest fear was that Facebook would turn their site into another MySpace. I submit that they didn’t have to. The teeny boppers using it to hook up, bully, creep, and post picures they’ve taken of themselves in mirrors have done it for them.
Having said all of this I have to be honest and tell you that I do have a Facebook profile that I check barely more than once a week. It’s a bit of a necessary evil as a youth minister and someone with a hobby (podcasting) that is driven by social media.
While I have a Facebook profile, I’m not a creeper and I will be a Twitter fan until they mess it up with a photo gallery or relationship status option.
So, do you agree or disagree? Do you creep? Do you follow Charlie Sheen?
Chime in below and join the argument…er…debate…er…discussion.
Author: Michael Prince
Michael Prince co-authored “What’s in Your Pocket? A parent’s guide to protecting your children online.” with his wife Melinda. They have four kids and live in an RV anywhere in the USA they see the need for an internet safety expert. Michael is leading the conversation in the American Church about family online security. He and Melinda founded BecauseFamily, a ministry that exists to inspire and equip parents to be the first influence in the lives of their children, in 2013. Michael is also a geek and loves Star Wars, Doctor Who, the Marvel Cinematic Universe, and strategy board games.