Saturday September 24th 2022

Can Facebook and Twitter be bi-winning?

Social Media expert Karen Jeynes shares her thoughts on the latest conundrums and developments in the fast-paced world of social media technology and culture.

On the rare days I get to sit slumped in front of my keyboard without the tedious interruptions of school run, coffee dates, walks on the beach and mid-afternoon nookie, I choose to put twitter on in the “background”, rather than Facebook. And just today, three separate people have commented that they are turning to Twitter, as Facebook leaves them, well, you know, kinda BORED.

So instead of interacting with those who are ostensibly our “friends” on Facebook, more and more people are being enthralled by the fun – and the challenge – of interacting with relative strangers. The mental stimulation, the validation that our ideas are valid in a bigger picture, enthralls us in a way the familiar Facebook no longer can.

The delightful Angel Blythe Campey (@YesReallyAngel on twitter, follow her, she makes me laugh daily) posted this as her Facebook status today: ‘Totally cheating on Facebook with Twitter. Such a social media slut. “it’s just that twitter likes it when i talk. FB never listens anymore, it’s like he doesn’t understand me.”’

As much as we know Facebook is a way to connect to our friends, family, everyone we ever went to school with, everyone we ever worked with, and a few people we’ve never actually met but have twenty nine friends in common with, it’s not a high usage tool for most people. By which I mean “people look at you funny if you update your status more than twice a day”. And for the most part, politics, religion and other serious issues are off the table. Who knows who you might offend or annoy with your opinion. And I’m guilty on this score – I’ve hidden friends for crimes such as “daily bible quotes with overenthusiastic amening comments” and “obsessive compulsive use of the name Helen Zille”.

But like Angel says, Twitter likes it when we talk. Twitter is built on conversation – not necessarily direct conversation, but the building of ideas in a communal place. Today, I recently tweeted, “So according to my twitter feed, the Irish and Trevor Manuel are bi-winning, Gaddafi is Sacha Baron Cohen, and the new iPad leaks”.  This is my way of keeping current and relevant.

Facebook tells me useful personal information such as whose birthday it is, allows me to see pictures of my friends beautiful children, and is a space “where everybody knows your name”.  I will always keep good old faithful Facebook in my life. But I’m definitely not going to stop the flirtation with the stimulating world of Twitter. Social media sluts of the world unite!

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