Thursday, June 18, 2009

Twitter? Facebook? why?...

I guess I don't quite get the Twitter and Facebook thing.

I'm tech savvy. I network. But I don't get it...

It all started with a friend of mine in New York setting up a MySpace page. "Do it, Nancy! Make a page!"
"Uh, okay....why?"
"Because it's a great way to keep in touch with friends!"

So I did. On her constant urging. I did what was expected of me. Got a cool 'skin', I posted photos, I updated my profile, I wrote an "about me", blahblahblah. I immediately started getting 'friend' requests from people I don't know, people I don't want to know really...I mean why would I?

The whole idea freaked me out.

Fast forward now to Facebook. I got an 'invite' from a past co-worker. "Be my friend! See the party photos!" In order to see her photos, I had to sign up and make an account. Okay, so if I'm going to go through all that, then I should go ahead and put up a profile, post some photos, write an "about me", blahblahblah. But again, I'm getting friend requests from people I don't know, not sure I want to know, or knew about a hundred years ago. Does it matter? Do I need this? Do I really need to know that one friend 'is hungover', another 'is going to the gym' and one 'brewing coffee'? Will this complete my day? Will it fulfill my life?

How much information do I want to share with people that aren't in my immediate circle....?

But I've been playing along with it. I've been checking in. If I see too many people online, I sign off immediately. It's odd to me to get e-mail notifications notifying me that I've got a message on Facebook. Everyone I know that would send me messages already has my e-mail address; so why not just send me an e-mail? Why send the message through Facebook? Why don't you text me? Or better yet, just pick up the phone and call?

What about when someone posts something on your 'wall'. Do I really want all my contacts on Facebook knowing what's going on in my life? Not really. I guess I don't actually care if you do know, I'm not secretive, but the whole process just seems....odd to me.

What bothers me the most is the 'invites' I get via Facebook. What 80's rock star are you? How many children will you have? What are your 5 favorite beverages? Or one of the best that I saw today, What Saved By the Bell Character are you?

Are you kidding me? Do I need that information? I never even watched the show let alone stay up at night wondering which character I would be!

Each time you take one of these surveys, you have to agree that now all your information and all the information of your friends is now public. Doesn't that worry anybody? It does me. I won't take any of those matter how curious I may be about what character I am. Have you ever read the notice when you post a photo? That's how that family from Missouri had their Christmas photo ending up in Prague for a grocery store ad. Once posted, it's public fodder. I really would prefer not to see my image used in advertising...for anything.

I got a notice recently that someone bought one of my photos, that I'm now owned. What does that mean? I'm owned? And if so, where's my money?

But I'm most confused about Twitter. Why in the hell do I need to know what anyone out in the world is doing or thinking at any given moment? And in a 2 line text? I am not going to be peer pressured into 'twitting' my day away....

and yet, I reactivated my Twitter account today. And am now following Carlos. Hmmm.

And in a flash I got 3 'tweets' letting me know these people were now following me. Why? What connection do I have with them? None. Oh, and I like to call the people following me that I've no connection to "twits". I think it's fitting.

There are some people that I know that must seem to always have their computer on, and on their Facebook page. I can't seem to ever log on without seeing them there. What do they do with their days? I guess it's possible that I could just look at the backlogs and see...but I won't. I wish there was a way to sign on and remain 'invisible'.

What will be extremely interesting is that since my blog is linked to the Facebook page, this blog, once posted, will come across as a note to all those on Facebook. Watch. There is going to be a mass exodus on my 'friend' list. It'll be interesting to see how long it takes for me to get dropped as a friend. 46-45-44-43....0. Those friends of mine will think that I've called them out on their Facebook obsession. The only one's that will remain are the people that have a Facebook account but don't log on. By the time they do log on, this blog will have been long buried in the archives.

I've read that they are trying to get people to pay for the Facebook privilege. Privilege was the word used. In which case, I'm not going to have a page, so it will all be a moot point.

Checking the blogs I follow several times a day is a bad enough time usurper. I like to see if my blogger friends have posted anything new. With two computers running and 4 tabs open on each, my computer dependence is bordering on obsession. Add all these other computer/internet driven connection devices, and I may never leave the house.

But thank God I've got an iPhone...
That way I can receive Carlos's updates on Twitter.


  1. I've been resisting the Twit-tation for some time now. Hell, I waste enough time in Blogland, last thing I need is one more obsession.

  2. It's true; it's getting out of control.
    I'd like to say I'll never Twitter, but last year I said that about Facebook, and I'm now up to 45 friends (YAY!).
    Now I better go check my email...

  3. "It's odd to me to get e-mail notifications notifying me that I've got a message on Facebook. Everyone I know that would send me messages already has my e-mail address; so why not just send me an e-mail?"

    Thank you, thank you, thank you, for saying this. It's one of my biggest pet peeves. And I, like you, initially joined Facebook to see photos. I also UNfriended about 15 people last month, which felt so empowering.

    "But I'm most confused about Twitter. Why in the hell do I need to know what anyone out in the world is doing or thinking at any given moment?"

  4. @MVD - thanks for that link. Brother, ain't that the truth! I think I might empower myself and UNfriend some as well. I'll share it with you as no one else will ever know...

    @Chris - Yes, I concur. I too spend a little too much time reading others peoples blogs. But enjoy it so much, if I cut it out, it'd be like starting the morning without coffee. And that just CAN'T happen!

    @Maureen - I hate counting my friends on Facebook. (but do) Just like I'm jealous of Chris (114 followers), Chrissy (53), and well, you...

  5. You can actually change your setting so that others cannot see when you are on line (bottom right, click on the head). I too think it's creepy and don't want others to see, hence mine is ALWAYS off! Also, you can change the settings on your page. (Mine are set to friends only). I have another friend whose page you cannot post wall comments so you are forced to send private messages.

    Like anything, it depends on how you use FB/Twitter. I have reconnected with many friends made professional contacts and have been able to tap resources I otherwise would not have access to. Hence the collaboration aspect can be beneficial. I have a friend who is a PhD candidate in Psychology who uses FB to post her short stories and advice "columns."

    Lastly, and don't be's "moot" point.:)

  6. @Anonymous - Thanks for the Facebook hints. I am changing the settings right away. I probably could've figured that out had I the inclination to navigate around further...but it's better getting it from a secondary source anyway!

    I DO agree with you on a certain level about the benefits for SOME PEOPLE of the network factor. For me? It's not going to be something I get involved this juncture.

    Also, the typo...I think that was a Freudian slip as my daughter was 'buggin' as I was trying to finish the blog. Thanks for bringing that to my attention! :-)

    Thanks for your comment (s)!

  7. He he! No worries!

    Just to be candid, at last check I have almost 500 friends so I think possibly I should reconsider your comments and adopt your stance...OR GET A LIFE!

    I wonder with the whole web 2.0 boone if one day we will all just sit on our computers, blackberries, iphones, etc. and never have to talk to anyone or leave the house! I SURE HOPE NOT!!!!


  8. *Ahem* My defense: my tweets are few and far between and they're brilliant. I update my facebook status and my blog widget via twitter. It's both handy and dandy and makes my blog look more interesting. I almost never log onto facebook but because everything online is so interconnected these days, it appears that I do, and it's a beautiful link to my blog. Why do I keep it? Because it appeals to my vanity. Myspace is for assholes though.
    Sold? I'll work on a better argument.

  9. @Carlos - your defense is accepted. I agree that everything you say is brilliant. Well, almost. Almost as brillant as mine...

    Oh, I don't have any tweets. I can't figure out what to tweet about that anyone would want to know. Perhaps my recipe for how to make brunch with rat poison for my social capitan?

  10. Yeah, I'll need that tweet to prepare an antidote ;)

  11. Facebook is a great stalking tool. You know, if you're into that sort of thing..

  12. OMG! I'm so glad you wrote this. Chris and I were having this debate a couple months ago. He had myspace, facebook and a blog site. We never talked anymore. It was too much. Happy to say, he only blogs now. Whew! Thanks for settling this one. You should be a therapist?


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