Facebook Vs. Twitter
by Elana Golub on Friday, February 10th, 2012
Social networking sites-websites that invite members to interact with friends, post photos, gain publicity, or keep in touch-occupy a significant portion of a teenager’s free time. Facebook and Twitter, the two leading sites amongst teenagers, offer different portals through which a member can network and contact other people. As teens and adults contemplate the differences between the two sites, they wonder: which is a more effective and interesting use of time?
Facebook offers multiple options to which many are attracted. Each member has a profile, on which they can post updates including his or her location, friends he or she is with, photos of the person’s experiences, videos, and any thought which he or she wishes to share. Each of these things is accompanied by the opportunity to receive “Likes” or “Comments” from alternate members, called “Friends”. These aspects gain attention from Milton students for up to “five or more hours a day,” admits Josh Pomper (II). But what is it that makes Facebook so intriguing?
The most addicting parts of Facebook lie in two areas. Firstly, the chat, messaging, and video chat features, which provide the users with immediate contact with their friends, are effective ways to reconnect with friends from all different parts of the globe. Ali Golden (II) states, “Facebook is more of a vehicle for social networking [than Twitter] due to instant messaging,” showing how the chat feature adds to Facebook’s addictive nature.
According to Emily Jacob (II), another aspect of the craze is “mainly focused [on] stalking peoples photos.” Stalking people by flipping through their Facebook photos is a popular pastime amongst teenagers. This activity adds a more personal aspect to Facebook.
However, the teenagers’ openness on Facebook can be a drawback as well. One can find out a lot about another person, like his or her name, school, hobbies, friends, and more, without even being a confirmed friend, making Facebook “more dangerous” as stated by Michael Davis (III).
Twitter, on the other hand, is less useful for actual interactions between people but more accessible when it comes to sharing thoughts and humor. Each update, or “tweet”, can be “favorited” or “retweeted” by one of the people who “follows” you. An attraction of Twitter that Facebook lacks is celebrities. The ability to follow many celebrities on Twitter adds to the high-level interest of the website because it enables just about anyone to feel a personal connection to someone who is famous.
A “tweet” is similar to a status update on Facebook; however, what is socially acceptable to write differs greatly. “I can tweet stuff that I can’t post on Facebook” says Emily Jacob (II). “On Twitter I feel more freedom.” Because many use Twitter as an outlet for humor, “I find Twitter more interesting,” says Olivia Berman (III). Although “status updates are basically tweets”, she continues, “Twitter is more oriented to other people’s specific thoughts” not simply recounting their every action.
Although Twitter can be interesting to read, it is not always easy to be an active tweeter. “I think there’s more pressure for you to talk about yourself on Twitter,” says Liam White (III). “On Twitter you have a personality that you’re expected to show if you use it consistently.” Some people do not enjoy Twitter’s attraction. Michaela Brickley (IV) states, “I only understand about half of what people are tweeting; they are usually inside jokes.”
So which of the two is better? “I don’t think I have a favorite,” states Michael Davis (III). “While Facebook is more personal, Twitter has real celebrities actually writing their thoughts.”
“I prefer each for their own reasons,” says Lydia Emerson (II). “Twitter provides frequent updates to both serious and funny things, while Facebook is a great tool for keeping in touch with many people that one might not normally see or talk to every day.”
Although the two sites are usually linked together and are often considered synonymous, both sites have different purposes and attractions that make many users unable to chose a favorite.
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