What We Think
Twitter is better than Facebook because it defies age
Facebook has its limitations. It is limited by who you know and who wants to know you. Your friends are your source of entertainment on Facebook, while Twitter allows you to comfortably stalk more interesting people. Facebook also ages with you. What was once a forum for spring break photos and wild college nights is now, for us mid-to-late-twenty-somethings, a place dedicated to pets, dinners and babies. If you are nearing thirty, your Facebook timeline is growing older and more boring.
Facebook friends entered the Real World and got jobs and now think other people want to hear about them. Someone is sick. Someone just ate a ton of pasta and is exhausted. Someone thinks American Idol should be on four nights a week. Someone thinks people with the same name for his or her first name and last name should be banned from American Idol. Someone thinks the same-name-guy sounds like Dave Matthews and Dave Matthews reminds them of being young, but now they are just tired and will go to bed after American Idol. Someone’s dog chewed something. The person whose dog chewed something is now hiding the something before the dog’s other parent comes home. A kid got sick, the mom thinks it’s an ear infection, and Disney movies aren’t helping, they usually help. Someone is making cupcakes! Someone is eating scrumptious cupcakes! My Facebook is sick and needs a day off. Facebook went to the beach but the pictures don’t look wild. Facebook now wears a one-piece. Facebook is getting old. Facebook is exhausted.
Twitter is young, famous and concise. People drop exclamation points and adverbs because 140 characters is just enough room for the parts of speech and punctuation that matter. Shortened words don’t even bother me on Twitter—OMG prob goin to slp early. Sooo tired.—because the 140 characters don’t allow you to tell me what wore you out at work and, in a second, another more famous person is going to say something interesting and bump you from my feed. There are no babies on Twitter, either. From ultrasounds to dirty diapers, babies grow up on Facebook. If a baby shows up on Twitter an unfollow follows and the baby is gone, turned off as though a wailing monitor were tuned out and shoved in a drawer. My Twitter friends are cool, too. They’re in movies, on television, they write, some write really well, none of them seem to be constantly telling me about what they are eating, most are rich and they’re often more attractive than my Facebook friends. My Twitter friends are hanging out with other more famous people. There’s links to poetry in my Twitter feed, from poets, not your husband. There are articles, news, and not news about Kim K, OMG. Twitter appeals to basic superficial tendencies to want to hear about cool people’s lives and less about a kid you used to know who has flat tire on the side of I-440, a kid who is now going to be late for his job as an assistant to his dad’s assistant accountant, and his dad is going to kill him! lols!
I don’t know who invented Twitter because I don’t want to Wikipedia Twitter. I hear too much about Facebook and Zuckerberg and Aaron Sorkin writing about Zuckerberg and Zuckerberg being married and Zuckerberg wearing hoodies. Now Zuckerberg being richer than before but still being Zuckerberg the nerd in hoodies. (Whoever let Zuckerberg out of his locker back in ’01 anyway?) Twitter exists somewhere for our enjoyment. It’s like a bright balloon tied to a tree branch that we just stumbled upon as it drifted in a breeze, ever changing for our satisfaction. I like that Twitter gets overwhelmed and fails. I like that it doesn’t always work. Facebook has enough money to work all the time. Facebook is a grown up now. It should do its job. Twitter is young, fresh, refreshing, hip. Adjectives.
Twitter is better than Facebook because my Twitter “friends” aren’t getting older. They’re distant and cool and famous and, in all honesty, I could walk past them in a city and instead of pretending not to see them to avoid an awkward conversation I can just not have a conversation with them because I don’t know them. I’ve outgrown Facebook because Facebook grew up. And the only thing stopping me from defriending all of the pasta-eating, baby-making, tired and frustrated people on Facebook is a couple distant high school reunions. Twitter knows I don’t know the people I follow. With Facebook friends, a day will come in a high school gymnasium where I’ll have to pretend I still do.
(Sometime in the future my son walks through the house with mud on his feet and he knows I have told him multiple times not to do that. He snarls at me with that snarl teenagers hurl at their parents when they believe their parents never existed before them, never tracked mud, but were just placed on Earth to police its tracking. And I ground him for soiling my rug again and when I send him to his room—praying his face sticks in that snarl so when he stands before a mirror he will be embarrassed at the sight of himself—I make him look through my Facebook history, a collage of fun and tailgates and late nights and coolers of beer that never stood a chance. Old Camaros and dirty Jeeps. Archived evidence of a life before him when I was cool and his snarl was only a faint notion in a daydream about a more serious and dreaded world. That’s why I keep Facebook: To serve as proof. It is evidence. Just as a faded butterfly on the lower back of a tired woman testifies to one great night in Myrtle Beach, Facebook is our generation’s permanent tattoo of youthful cool.)