Facebook and Twitter Drive Modern SocietyWednesday, March 23, 2011 By Ali S
One-twelfth of the world population. 200 million more than the population of the US. 1/2 the population of China. 500 million: the number of active facebook users in the world. The website, founded in 2004, describes itself as a “social utility that helps people communicate more efficiently with their friends, family and coworkers”, according to facebook.com. One of the most trafficked sites in the world, facebook.com employs over 2,000 and has even been the subject of a movie, The Social Network. The blue and white website draws users in, offering a free profile to anyone in the world, allowing them to connect with up to 5,000 friends. Students, parents, and teachers regularly check in with the website, with 50 percent of users logging in at least once daily, according to facebook.com. And it’s safe to say a completely new jargon has come out of the phenomenon of a website. Only facebook users understand the connotation behind notifications, relationship statuses, profile pictures and the infamous act of facebook stalking. The world has gone viral and facebook has been a huge part of the transition. Friends from across the globe connect to view pictures, friends and wall conversations. The average facebook user has 130 friends, according to facebook.com. With 130 people to stalk, facebook holds the ability to become as addicting as a 24 hour marathon of the Hills. Like a celebrity craves the spotlight, facebook users yearn for that peek into other’s lives guarded with an anonymous blanket. A scroll through a user’s newsfeed is a constant timeline of her “friend’s” lives. Status updates: inspiring quotes, lyrics, jokes, statements, memories, a few words can say a lot. According to digitalbuzzblog.com, more than 35 million users update their status each day. Fifty-five. minutes a day. The time an average user spends on facebook. With mobile facebook, as well as the actual website, usage varies. “Well, I get it [facebook] on my phone so I check it on my phone when I’m bored,” junior Sarah Pennington said. “But actually on it on my computer - well, it really depends.” Meanwhile, on the brighter side of the blue logos, is Twitter, boasting over 106 million users. A new twist on the social media scene, Twitter offers users 140 characters to tell the world, especially their “followers”, what’s happening. “Following” is the equivalent to facebook’s “friends”. A simple click of a “follow” button allows you access to your friend’s profile, tweets, and @ replies. In addition, Twitter offers the unique chance to connect with many of your favorite celebrities. Verified with a blue check-mark, hundreds of celebrities tweet daily, many responding to fan @replies. With only 140 characters, tweets only take an average of a mere 30 seconds to read, according to fastcompany.com. Twitter proves to be a more manageable time commitment in the long run. In fact, the average Twitter user spends 13.1 minutes on the site a day. Twitter apps are compatible with most smart-phones including iPhone, Android, and Blackberry help those who tweet stay in the know as well as on task. “I actually tweet mostly from my phone,” junior Denise Chiao said. Although Twitter can be an easy source for an on-the-go update, it also can be a perfect escape from boredom. “Well, during the summer I was on it [Twitter] a lot because I had nothing to do. Sometimes hours at a time,” junior Bailey Gibson said. “But since school started and I got really busy, I don’t think I’ve tweeted over a month.” Whether it’s a 140 character update or a newly tagged photo, once pressing “sign up”, the addiction has only begun. Someday, one day, the time will come when changing statuses loses pizazz and 140 characters seems way too short. And finally, one and for all, with a shaking hand, and a click, it’ll be over. Done, finished, and forever, logged off.