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Twitter and Facebook

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A colleague and I were trying to get our heads around Twitter.

No time right now for a long dissertation on the similarities, the differences, the value, etc. All that may come later, though how much more really needs to be said as the blogosphere overflowing with Twitter-related commentary?

Still, my colleague echoed my concerns that Twitter seems to be black-hole for time and for that reason, she has resisted Facebook, despite multiple invitations from friends. My response to her:

Of course you are right that functionally, FB and Twitter are nearly identical: “friends” “subscribe” to your “updates”.

But for some reason, I “feel” that Facebook waits for me while Twitter demands my attention. Somehow I think that the expectation of Twitter followers is for more stuff, now, now, now. If updates are not forthcoming and interesting to your followers, then they will simply unfollow you.

In contrast, I find Facebook friends are really, well, friends, or at least personal acquaintances. They are interested in you, your life, and will wait for updates on your time. I don’t find that people un-befriend you on FB if you haven’t posted in a while.

I guess that’s the difference: Twitter seems inherently to be about promotion: losing your followers undermines the base of people to whom you can shout your message. Facebook is about friends: they won’t dump you simply because you are living your life rather than reporting/sharing it.

I have no regrets about my FB membership. I still feel vaguely sick to my stomach every time I touch Twitter.

I’m sure I will find a way for to use Twitter and to benefit from it. But it sure isn’t coming easily.

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