We’ve all seen them. The Facebook status updates that sit on that very fine line between “I also published my diary” and “I don’t understand what the words ‘public’ and ‘online’ actually mean.” We’ve scrolled through our news feed shaking our heads at old class mates and blocking the ‘share if you care’ mothers of our social network. We laugh when it’s witty, cringe when it’s overly descriptive and pound our fists on the bed where we lay when ‘that’ person posts a rant about ‘that’ thing, again.
But there is something that I don’t think people realize. Twitter is for all those things that suck about Facebook. Twitter is where in 140 characters you can share something funny/deep/meaningless/too personal/vague and insecure and no one will care. No one will care because on twitter it isn’t considered rude to unfollow your friends. It isn’t considered insulting if you don’t appreciate the way someone tweets. On Twitter, you get away with ignoring.
On Facebook, when you click that ‘unfriend’ button, it’s basically friends off in real life. If someone is annoying to you on Facebook and you delete them, you run the risk of not hearing about actual things that matter to them (guess who’s pregnant!) or not being invited to that cool marathon party all your friends are going to. Facebook has become more than a way to express our need for approval. It has become a very important tool in networking. And even though we hate it, and we don’t want to continue to give it our time and affection, we need it. Our generation has adapted into functioning mainly online. I know people who have resisted out of equal parts laziness and stubbornness, and who don’t have a Facebook account. And though I admire them for sticking it to the man (the man being Zuckerberg) and putting their values above what our culture demands they take part in, they also miss out, a lot. They don’t get invited to fun things or hear about new bands everyone else is “discovering” together. And they don’t get my funny cultural jokes related to the most recent meme or most shared funny (but not funny) kids swearing online video.
At this point, as a twenty-something, Facebook is necessary, and it is our duty to continue to make it bearable. It is for this very reason that you guys need to stop with the “I’m sad but can’t tell you why” and “so sore from going to the gym because I’m amazing” all over my news feed. Take it to Twitter. Twitter will love you for it. Twitter will make fun of you for it and the irony of being annoying will make you cool. Twitter is to annoying Facebook status posters as peanut butter is to people who can’t cook (me). And the thing that is so great about Twitter, is that you don’t have to talk about your lunch all the time. You can talk about real things too. There is a place for that there. There is a place for everyone there. Even you, “play candy crush with me, it’s cool and fun I promise,” even you.
Emily Derksen is a university student currently pursuing a degree in journalism because she is passionate about writing, or is crazy, or both. She loves peonies, live music and the art of black coffee and lives in denial about being an adult by refusing to check her emails and by relying on unbalanced meals of granola bars and soy smoothies. You can discover more about her love for run-on sentences on her blog at ofemily.blogspot.com or join her in laughing at her own jokes on Twitter at @emilyrosa.
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