My Battle With Twitter


Maya Sherne, Staff Writer

What is the point of Twitter?  I get emails, texts, I read the newspaper, and I continuously check my news feed.  Do I really want trivial information demanding my attention at every moment?  Do I even want to send out this information?

I’ve been debating this with myself for sometime.  At 14, when I was finally allowed a Facebook, it was the biggest deal in the world.  After an hour, I was interested.  After a day, I was hooked.  After a week, I became a promoter.  And now, 2 years later, I am a dedicated Facebook user.  That is why I don’t understand Twitter.  It’s a less useful fragment of the perfectly accessible Facebook.

If you haven’t checked out Twitter, it’s a social networking site that provides an enormous amount of irrelevant information.  You “follow” people in order to get updates about their daily activities.  It is not natural for someone to be informed what his or her friends are doing at every moment.  This nearly useless site demonstrates the Internet’s endless efforts to make stalking easier and easier.

Since a tweet limit is 140 characters per message, tweets remain shorter than most texts.  And in the space frame, many tweets lack context.  This is Twitter’s primary problem.  The “tweeting” format is too short.  In a gist, it’s the Facebook status bar without the rest of Facebook.  But who would use Facebook if it lacked pictures? If there were no more videos?

The 140-character constraint is a leftover reminder of text messaging before smart phones and unlimited text.  Thanks for the sentiment Twitter, but I’m fine without the pre-smart phone throwback.

Facebook is a rapid highway of non-stop personal information, and I put up with it because although distracting, the format is engaging. Each post is at least a paragraph, a form where you receive the luxury of fully explaining your thoughts.  Twitter does not provide this luxury. If Twitter allowed more space for explanation, then it would truly become a useful site.

Facebook, although I hate to say it, is brilliant.  It enables its users to link, and post not single pictures, but albums at a time.  A tweet is like a Facebook status, except you can say more on Facebook. Also Twitter lacks the option of censoring individual tweets.  A person is therefore subjected to hearing an acquaintance talk about their anger for any number of ridiculous things.

As much negative publicity as it gets, Facebook is extremely instructive when it comes to listening to their users. It has taken the best aspects from competitors and incorporated them into their site.  Instead of jumping at every “trend” they expanded and included these innovations into their ever-growing social network.

When Twitter became a threat, Facebook tried to buy the company.  A deal between both companies was never reached, so Facebook then added a status update in their newsfeed.  This in itself made the News Feed more interesting and personal, but these status updates led Facebook on its way to become a “sharing platform.”

Although you choose whom to follow, many Tweets aren’t useful.  The bad tweeters, those who post about their mood or dinners, are much more suitable for Facebook, which is a more personal medium.

Facebook recently launched new improvements where you can subscribe to your friends.  Twitter should seriously incorporate some of Facebook’s settings.  These improvements allow you to subscribe and unsubscribe to a friend-without deleting them.  It’s difficult on Twitter to put up with certain peoples tweets.  But Twitter contains this unspoken alliance between non-famous people, that if you are followed, its proper Twitter etiquette to follow that person back.  Therefore it is looked down upon to “unfollow” someone.  But this has one extremely unfortunate side effect. Some tweets are just bad, and no one, and I do mean no one, needs to or wants to read them.

Twitter appeals to people because it is informal and concise. Maybe Twitter and I aren’t the best fit. I think I’ll just sit it out and see.  But for now, I have to go Tweet about this.