“…these words are my diary screaming out loud
And I know that you’ll use them, however you want to” – Anna Nalick
I’m among the last to crawl on the bandwagon, yet Twitter added an odd layer of completion to a need for social media expression.
Heretofore Facebook and blogging sufficed. Blogs for rants too long to clutter anyone’s timeline and still a potentially wider (typically narrower) audience. The therapeutic value of journaling is in “putting it down”. As often as not ramblings are never published. An advantage WordPress has over Blogger and similar are its privacy settings.
Facebook altered for the worse after their initial public offering. I could accept increased ads, what bothered me were subtle privacy adjustments. It is understood any activity on a social media site is considered public. I deliberately chose a unique, searchable alias with that mind. Facebook “friends” include a healthy mix of acquaintances and family. Posts may still be tailored to whichever audience is deemed appropriate, however previously “Likes” and “Comments” were limited to shared timelines.
I once derived giddy pleasure surfing others timelines and adding my two cents. Only now don’t want to force my personal or political opinions into the streams of everyone in my friends list. Similarly do not care to know everything my friends are encountering in their meanderings. So Facebook has become a static, stagnant forum to maintain a presence and occasionally remark on something unoffensive and irrelevant.
Enter Twitter, where the intent is to flood 140 bytes of random neural firings for any audience who cares to read. The name even implies irrelevance in it does not take itself too seriously. Still I manage to take it too seriously. Ideally a “tweet” would have a 24 hour half life and disappear entirely after a week or so. Instead search engines index and the Library of Congress has chosen to archive them permanently. Years from now may not want anyone to know I was digging a show called “Arrow” on the CW network for a moment in time. Having a few followers even has drawbacks. With any recognition also comes an obligation (for me) to attempt tweeting substantively more than frivolously.
So my search for the ideal social media platform continues. Google+ circles comes close to combining the best of both Facebook and Twitter, only for some reason has not caught on. I didn’t appreciate the way Google initially promoted circles by attempting to send invitations to anyone in my contact lists. Really, Google+, I’m the late joiner, not the trend setter.
Update 11/30 – Matt Haughey wrote this (related): Why I love Twitter and Hate Facebook.