The Tweeter and The BookFace

February 20, 2013

Anyone who follows me on the Twitter account associated with this blog knows that I do it all wrong.  SO WRONG.  I barely remember to update it, and that’s because I’m so busy using my personal Twitter account all wrong. SO WRONG.


Everything that used to go into my private online journal is now dumped into that private Twitter feed.*  I talk about crappy television, vent about personal problems, upload too many pictures of my cats.  In short: if you don’t know me in real life and you follow me on my private twitter feed you’re either incredibly tolerant or we’ve known one another online for a long, long time.**  My private Twitter feed is everything that the internet was before the rest of my family found out about it.


For me, Twitter is the last safe haven for these semi-private thoughts.  The ones you used to share late at night on the phone in high school, or in a dorm room with a small group of friends while shot gunning peanut butter M&Ms.  They aren’t earth shattering or life changing (for the most part), and they usually have a lot of typos (since they’re frequently written on a phone, sometimes while walking) but they are a way to stay connected.


If Twitter is my dorm room, Facebook is my family reunion.  The public parts are pretty and I tend to not “like” a lot of things, because I’m too involved in the world of marketing to give up that information easily.  I don’t post a lot of political items (without filters, anyway) because my friends and family are a diverse group of people, and the internet is no place to debate personal feelings on those matters. (Unless you really want to alienate everyone you know.)  Facebook is a place to share big events and good news, it’s a way to keep in touch with people you know in real life but who are too far away to see every day.


I probably use Facebook all wrong, too. I don’t tend imaginary farms or play trivia games; I’ve started using it in place of my phone 50% of the time. I’m not sure how I spent so many hours on the phone as a teenager because now, when it rings four times a week, I look at it and sigh before I answer it.  Talking on the phone is exhausting.  Facebook is great! I can see everyone’s new babies and puppies, it reminds me when it’s someone’s birthday, and no one ever hands it to their four year old and forces me to make polite conversation.***  It also makes me realize how old I am, as my nieces and nephews become teenagers and start talking about things I’ve never heard of.  (It’s also conflicting to be the “cool” aunt, and not have some of the same filters imposed that I’m sure their parents do – the internal debate on when to say something about the selfies and the friending of strangers online is a complex battle.  That’s probably a discussion for another time.)


Anyway, smack dab in the middle of Lent I’ve realized that a number of my friends have dropped Facebook or Twitter, or both, in the lead up to Easter and I find it puzzling.   Because giving up Facebook for Lent would be like screening my phone calls for 40 days and giving up Twitter would be like locking myself in a room where I only had access to my job for 40 days.  This must mean that I look at social networking in an entirely different way, right? Maybe if I had closer physical proximity to my friends and family it would be different – a way to unplug and spend more time being present for people in my physical presence.  As it is, it would probably be more beneficial for me to take up writing emails than to give either of them up.



*Nothing on the internet is private, it doesn’t matter how many filters you use. My private online journal is fairly well neglected now that I’m a dull married woman closer to 40 than 20.

**That’s right. I know people on the internet that I don’t know in real life.  Most of them aren’t even serial killers… I don’t think.

***I have nothing to talk about with a four year old. I can’t even ask them about school or after school activities – which, by the way, are the only two questions I have for your 7 – 13 year old because I’m pretty sure we’re not watching the same TV shows, listening to the same music, or reading the same books.  Small talk with children is the worst.

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