The Viking Views
Turn of the Century: Simple math: Twitter > Facebook. Thursday, April 23, 2009 By Katy Coduto
That’s right, I went there. I just completely denounced the multi-faceted (and ridiculously redesigned) Facebook in favor of Twitter, the new social-networking site that gets rid of all the nasty parts of MySpace/Facebook/what have you and leaves the user with only the most important aspect of any so-called social site: the status updates. Okay, I know, you’re thinking, “I don’t care about status updates. At all.” But you do, secretly. You don’t even know how much you like them until you use Twitter and find yourself compulsively updating about being in PacSun dressing rooms, Friendly’s parking lots and various concert venues. (Obviously not personal experience or anything.) What’s even better? The status updates by your “following” group that are sent to your phone (because you can pick and choose what gets sent to your phone) are endlessly amusing. And you don’t have to get updates just from friends or people you know – a number of politicians, musicians, actors and authors all have Twitter accounts, and they all update even more instinctively than your average human being (average: me). Seriously, if you’re aspiring to be a senator, you may as well have a Twitter account, since about half of the senatorial bigwigs have taken to tweeting during a multitude of Obama speeches and various public appearances. The question at the center of this, though, is what is it that really makes Twitter so addicting? Why do John Stewart and Brian Williams constantly denounce Twitter on “The Daily Show,” while the president uses it almost more than anyone else in the Twitterdom? Why do Britney Spears, Jimmy Eat World, Mike Gravel, Demetri Martin, etc. feel the need for what Stewart dubbed “self-affirmation?” Why do ANY of us need this sense of affirmation, when we solidly know we not only exist, but also achieve and learn and, simply, do? Maybe it’s because we’re all self-obsessed, egotistical freaks who think we’re somebody and have no time to do anything but tell everyone what we’re doing and thinking because no one else matters. Okay. If I would ever classify thousands of people in the aforementioned group, I’d feel like an awful, awful person and a complete liar. Because it’s not the need for self-affirmation alone that makes Twitter the perfect social website. The key word, here, is social. Twitter works because it is based on socializing, an aspect of life that most people thoroughly enjoy. Twitter would honestly be boring if it was only used to update your own account and not do anything with anyone else’s (granted, that is definitely why some people have them, but most update and read alike). It exists and works because people are able to communicate with each other in a way that’s just a little more interesting than the norm. Basically, it is now even easier to keep up with everyone else. I know, I know, that’s technically how Facebook and MySpace work, too, but Twitter takes it to new places. While the amusing qualities of updating your own Twitter never cease, reading others’ updates (tweets) are even better–oh, the quirky and somewhat unbelievable things people will say in 140 characters or less. Besides, if I didn’t have a Twitter account, how would I know that Mark Hoppus is torn between an iPhone and a Blackberry? Or that Trent Reznor overuses exclamation points? How would I know how Demetri Martin feels about lawyers or New York City? These are essential facts for my life, or at least for keeping me amused for a few minutes. And while it may not sound initially appealing, the perks of Twitter are never ending. Those with Twitter accounts are sometimes the only ones to get special deals directly from the artists–Lily Allen has offered six free tickets to each of her US shows via Twitter, and Warped Tour presale had special announcements just for Twitter users. Seriously, my life has been greatly enhanced.