10.20.2010

Twitter is better than Facebook

I have a Twitter account. I also have a Facebook account. Facebook is dumb. Before I continue with a blog that hates Facebook, understand that I am not living in a fantasy world where I think my blog is gonna take down Facebook. Facebook is pure business genius, and isn't going away anytime soon. Plus if Facebook went away, I'd have to build my own comment boxes for my blogs. I'm simply trying to convey to you how much simpler and easier life is on Twitter, and how obnoxious Facebook is. If I get even one reader to use Twitter on a regular basis, my life is fulfilled. Yeah, it doesn't take much for me.

The problem is, I can't quit Facebook because I've realized it's a good way to see what my friends and family (who I'm far to lazy to call) are up to or talking about, and very few of them are on Twitter. When I say friends, I don't mean Facebook "friends", I mean actual literal real-world friends over my entire lifetime. I have about 50-ish people who I'm either friends with now, or considered a friend at one time in my life. I don't need more than that. I don't need over 1000. In fact, I've stopped accepting new friend requests on Facebook and will continue to post offensive Tweets that auto-forward to Facebook until all my current friends have deleted me and I can finally quit. Then people can get back to talking to me via the proper channels. Facebook is NOT a replacement for e-mail, texting and party invitations, so don't contact me there for important things.

Back to the issue at hand. Twitter is better. But to understand why, you need a fundamental understanding of how Twitter works. Twitter is like a simpler Facebook, but it's missing all the elements of Facebook that piss me off. The most notable difference between the two is the 140 character limit on Twitter. This is an absolutely necessary element of a social network. If you can't say it in 140 characters, you need to either get a blog or shut the hell up. I got a blog. The 140 character limit was originally designed so it could be used via text messaging on a mobile phone without breaking into multiple messages. Some people say that Twitter’s simplicity makes it an annoying stream of consciousness; but it’s really all in how people use it, just like Facebook! Just don’t follow Ashton Kutcher or John Mayer on Twitter and it’ll be fine.

Beyond that, you don't have "Friends" on Twitter, you have "Followers". There isn't that awkward friend request system where you have to suffer through that moment of ignoring someone possibly close to you who you just don't want as a friend. On Twitter it's all been simplified. There are two settings, "Public" and "Private". If you're Public, people can automatically follow you and you can follow them. No requests. If you're Private, you have to approve requests, AND your posts don't appear on the public timeline. THAT'S IT. Those are the TWO settings. Facebook on the other hand has provided you with so many options for sharing all different types of information, that it's become an obnoxious clusterfuck.

And while we're on the subject, let's look at the different types of information Facebook wants you to share. Your birthday, your anniversary, your family's names, your employer (with address because you're automatically linked to the group for your employer), your hometown, your current city, your high school, your likes and dislikes. So I'm a criminal, and I want to steal your identity. What's one of the dumb security questions on any website? "What's your mother's maiden name?" "In what city were you born?" "Where did you graduate high school?" Well, all I have to do is find out who your grandmother is and your hometown, and bang, I'm you. Thanks Facebook! Luckily I don't want to be you, I'd rather not get into why.

Here's the Twitter profile page: Name, URL, Location, Bio. And you're not penalized and given warnings if you leave information blank on Twitter. Facebook seems to be in the business of collecting information, which is beyond baffling to me in the day and age of identity theft (which has happened to me, but not because of Facebook [that I'm aware of]).

So let's get back to the part where I was talking about the "Public" and "Private" settings on Twitter. You might be saying, "Well Radd, if I join Twitter, and set my profile to 'Public' then ANYONE can automatically read my tweets! I don't like that, I like friend requests!" Well, my poor idiot, you're living in Candy Land if you think your Facebook posts are truly private. They're on the fucking INTERNET! Nothing is private on the INTERNET. And on top of that, people love to tell secrets. Chances are someone who has "friended" that person you don't want to friend has shown them your Facebook page and tells them what you're saying. But failing that, IT'S ON THE INTERNET!! Now, if you're simply interested in personal privacy on Twitter then "Private" is the setting for you. Because most of Twitter is public, there's been nowhere near the privacy scandals that Facebook's been involved in. I believe Facebook is up to a scandal a month now. Just remember, the only way to be truly "private" is to not join a social network. But if you're like me and like to talk, then that's not really an option.

Moving on to the Terms of Service. An interesting read. Let's compare:  Facebook - Split into multiple pages of subcategories, last updated a couple weeks ago. Give that a read sometime and keep up with its changes... I know I won't.   Twitter - One page, updated 9/18/09

Twitter has NO ADS or "suggestions", and most importantly, NO STUPID GAMES, and no one inviting you to play stupid games like FarmVille or Mafia Wars. I've been playing video games since I was four, and I was even an EGM editor. If there was ever an authority on the subject, it's me. Facebook games are STUPID. I'd give them a 4, except my editor would just change it to a 7, but that's beside the point.  However, I will say I'd be a fool not to understand why Facebook games exist. It's business genius. In fact, Facebook as a whole is designed to keep you there, clicking away. Games keep people on the site. More visibility equals more revenue for Facebook. This is also why you see only certain updates from certain people in your News and Recent. Facebook has a carefully guarded secret algorithm in place to determine which posts will be interesting to you and keep you on board clicking away, all the while viewing more ads and generating more revenue for them. I can hate Facebook while still recognizing it's brilliance as a business platform. On Twitter, you see EVERYONE'S posts. If that gets too overwhelming, then you need to follow fewer people or set up favorites. Point is, Twitter leaves the decision-making in YOUR hands.

Speaking of following people on Twitter, since it's public, you can follow your favorite celebrities and find out what they're up to as well. You're not just limited to your boring old friends and family. Go to my Twitter page to see who I'm currently following, you don't have to be my friend or anything! And you won't find out any of my personal info!

There are no links on Twitter that require you to take a quiz before you can look at them, and there are no annoying GROUPS. "Bob Bemis has joined 'I HEART VARIOUS THINGS'"... Feck off Bob. I wouldn't be surprised if "I fell out of my bed and bumped my head" and "My balls itch" were actual Facebook groups. On Twitter there's "Trends" which are automatically generated based on keywords that people are talking about. For instance "Paranormal Activity" is trending as I write this. Since it's America, the trends are usually stupid things. "Justin Bieber" is another popular trend. But you can find out what's being talked about in your town, your state, your country, or the planet. In fact, news travels faster on Twitter than any other platform.  If you decide to talk about a trend on Twitter, you're not automatically added to a group with others who like the same thing. As if I want to talk to strangers about our common interests. I understand it's called a "social" network, but it's ironic that although I like to talk, I'm not social. I generally hate people. Maybe none of this is for me. In fact, forget everything you've just read...

This pretty much sums it up.

Press my hypocritical Tweet and Like buttons below!

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