by Gennette Cordova
As a loyal Facebooker, I have to admit that I was one of the many individuals who were extremely resistant to the world of Twitter. With every tweet being, essentially, a Facebook status update, I considered Twitter the shallowest form of self-indulgence.
However, after trying it out and getting used to the lingo, I realized that Twitter is actually a revolutionary way to transmit and obtain information. I quickly decided that Twitter is actually, in my opinion, much better than Facebook.
Here are my top four reasons for this conclusion:
A cool Twitter feature, that FB doesn’t have, is the “trending topic.” For those of you who are unfamiliar with Twitter, in a tweet, a “topic” is signified by a hash mark. For instance, I might say “The #Huskies just beat Arizona in overtime.” And if enough people use “Huskies” in their tweets, it becomes a “trending topic.” Pretty straightforward. If you see a hash-marked topic in a tweet you can click on it and it will show you every single tweet that contains that topic. Utilizing this, I am able to quickly get access to what different people, including major news organizations, local newspapers, political figures and celebrities, are saying about a specific topic. Currently, a topic trending worldwide is #MarchMadness2011 and, of course, #Japan. In Washington state, a new trending topic is #DrunkestIEverGot.
Friends vs. Followers
The idea of “Twitter followers” in comparison to “Facebook friends,” is my favorite thing about Twitter. Have you ever gotten a friend request that you felt somewhat obligated to accept, even though you had no desire to see this person’s page? Or perhaps you’ve added someone on Facebook only to find that they post really obnoxious, really frequent status updates. Well, I have. And I’m not sure about you, but I’ve always found that it is awkward to decline a request or remove someone from my friends list who I knew I was going to run into later.
The beauty of Twitter is that someone following you and you following them back are not mutually exclusive. It’s not necessary for you to be subjected to any unwanted tweets from someone just because they want to have access to yours. I don’t mind if the weird kid who had a crush on me in elementary school wants to read what I’m tweeting, but I’d prefer to not have to read their tweets. Similarly, I follow comedian Dave Chappelle because his tweets are hilarious, but I doubt he’d find me equally amusing.
Primarily for Communication
On Twitter, what people tweet are generally things that they consider newsworthy. Therefore, you are getting newsworthy information from the accounts you choose to subscribe to. I’m not saying that every tweet I get is hard-hitting and vital, but it’s what I choose to see.
The problem with Facebook is that, for the most part, it is an “opt-out” site. What I mean is, if there is something I don’t want to see, I have to go through and change my settings or block things individually, which gets tedious. The small amount of information that I’d like to see on Facebook is so muddled by unsolicited event updates and group invites. In my Facebook inbox right now I have about four dozen messages from club promoters wanting me to come to a new hotspot and local artists wanting me to support their music. There are new photo albums, notes, and notifications of relationship status changes galore. If a friend of mine uses a horoscope or profile stalker application, Facebook makes sure to let me know while encouraging me to use them as well. Why do I need to know that one of my friends “Likes” Justin Bieber’s new haircut, Charlie Sheen, and 14 other pages? Why do I need to be notified every time a friend befriends someone new or changes their profile picture? And grandma, I love you but no, I don’t want to help you fertilize your crops on Farmville, for the hundredth time!
Access to the Stars
If you’re like me, then you’re someone who is guilty of caring about what goes on in the life and minds of celebrities. When people are really famous, chances are they do not have a personal Facebook page that fans have access to; most celebrities use a fan page that is usually managed by someone else. In contrast, Twitter has thousands and thousands of verified, personal, celebrity accounts. The reason being, Facebook is a private social network, while Twitter is essentially an online environment for public news dissemination. Celebs can give their fans access to their tweets without the burden of being every fan’s “friend.”
So, perhaps you’re interested in what political and religious figures have to say, like Sarah Palin (@SarahPalinUSA) or the Dalai Lama (@DalaiLama). Or, maybe you’re someone who would want to follow mega-stars like Lebron James (@KingJames) and Snooki (@sn00ki). There are Academy award-winning actors, Olympic gold-medalists, authors, politicians, and comedians; even Jesus Christ has a Twitter (though I’m not sure if it’s been verified). If there was ever a famous person whose brain you wanted to pick, chances are you can find them on Twitter.
To make a long story short, Twitter is the new Facebook, and Facebook is the new MySpace. Jump on the bandwagon; you know you want to.