Social Media River Blog

Posts tagged Media Discourse

“Twitter is about 1000% more useful than Facebook.” – Facebook’s Social Construction on Twitter

This blog post examines how Facebook is constructed on Twitter: what type of tweets about Facebook are common on Twitter; how do Twitter users address and refer to Facebook. To get some idea, I collected (between June 6 – 7, 2011) about 27 tweets (of which 23 is referenced in this post) that reflect experiences of using Facebook. I specifically selected tweets that express personal opinions and the member’s take on Facebook. These tweets by majority approach Facebook as a personal social media and networking site, and not as a company or business forum. Most tweeters (estimating from their avatar picture) are teenagers and young adults, approximately between 15 – 30 years of age, and they hold personal Facebook accounts, and do not operate (or reference in their tweets) company pages. From the collected data, I can clearly identify four different ways to tweet about Facebook.

1) Comparing Twitter and Facebook


The first group of tweets are about comparing Twitter and Facebook. Since the tweets are posted on Twitter, they are quite favorable towards the use of Twitter and often examine Facebook in a fairly critical light. However, @stayfojonas does notice this bias nature in her tweet: “LOL it’s so funny cause everyone on twitter, hates facebook. & everyone on facebook, hates twitter.” While some balance between Twitter and Facebook, @MrFornicator expresses clearly that Twitter and Facebook are meant for different type of social communication styles, of which @2FBS sees as being restricting calling his views of one of a “Twitter Police”.

@youknowbt
Twitter made me get over my Facebook addiction lol

@ImperfectTeens_
Dear Facebook, Just wait, one day they’ll abandon you as well. Sincerely, Myspace. #ImperfectTeens_

@AdventurePic
Twitter is about 1000% more useful than Facebook.

@gaydriveruk
Twitter makes me want to have drinks with people I’ve never met, and Facebook makes me want to throw drinks at people I already know..

@MrFornicator
If you have 3 tweets in a row that say what you’re cooking, what song you’re listening to, and what your mood is… just go back to Facebook.

@2FBS (In response to @MrFornicator >>)
@MrFornicator Ahhh.. more self appointed Twitter Police. Just what the world needs.

@stayingforjonas
LOL it’s so funny cause everyone on twitter, hates facebook. & everyone on facebook, hates twitter.

2) Facebook Through Metaphors

The second group of tweets that stand out from the data are tweets that describe the use and essence of Facebook through metaphors. In this selection the metaphors are quite critical, calling Facebook a “refrigerator” and  a “jail”, and “just a vacation spot”.  These tweets are part of a Twitter’s “quote” genre, a widely popular and accepted style to express oneself on Twitter.

@ThaRealMisfit
Facebook is like a refrigerator. you get bored and keep checking but nothing ever changes

@ImperfectTeens_
Facebook’s like jail. You sit around and waste time, write on walls, and get poked by people you don’t know. #ImperfectTeens_

@simplyyDAWN
Twitter = Heavily populated city. Facebook = Just a vacation spot. Myspace = A ghost town. #LetsBeReal

3) Commenting Facebook Features


The third group of tweets make comments on Facebook’s various features, sometimes reminiscing the good old times in Facebook and describing problems with new features. @Borgore critiques Facebook’s strict terms of use policy, @MaggDaddy sees Facebook as a great automated birthday reminder, frequent users @john_maalouf, @Adri_Mane, and @jess3 bring up each different aspects of Facebook features that require improvements. Twitter act as a forum to express these opinions to the public.

@Borgore
My photos were too abusive for facebook’s sake, ladies in their bikinis can harm our young children yet lady gaga… http://fb.me/GLXK9umv

@MaggDaddy
Facebook = Birthday reminder

@john_maalouf
Buy And Sell Stocks Via Facebook! What can’t be done on Facebook these days! http://j.mp/istbQY

@Adri_Mane
>#ThingsIHate Facebook Instant Messages as SOON as I log on.

@jess3
Facebook status updates became wall postings. They used to mean so much. You had it by your name like a quote… now its meaningless.

@DannyFerguson_1
Ugh Facebook has decided to poke back everyone, even the little freaks who poked me like a year ago. Awkwardddd.

4) Dealing With Social Life in Facebook


The fourth and last group of tweets describe the significant place of Facebook in user’s life, pointing out awkward moments in Facebook, clashes between the real life relationships and interaction in social media, and dealing with the social media network of friends and family. This tweeting style was by quantity the most popular, although the small data really can only suggest this but not to confirm it. Teenagers and young adults appear to be quite aware of how Facebook features are used to build and express relationships. One’s status is important, and so is the ability to block unwanted friends and interaction. On the other hand reconnecting with old friends is seen as a valuable part of Facebook.  Some tweets address the virtual nature of Facebook wishing that life was as easy to manage as are Facebook’s features. Twitter is used as forum to vent about bad Facebook experiences, and bring attention to the good Facebook experiences that may potentially challenge Twitter’s status quo.

@jccaylen
That awkward moment when you are about to “like” someones facebook status and then you see it was posted 45 seconds ago, so you wait on it.

@drakkerdnoir
I can delete you from Facebook & block you on twitter but I can’t delete memories or block you from my heart

@aj904
Facebook should change the name from “friend request” to “I’ve seen you before but I just want to be nosy and not speak!

@imnathanleewood
I wish blocking people out of my life was as easy as blocking them on Facebook.

@X3_kay_x3
If your relationship status on Facebook says, “It’s complicated” then stop kidding yourself & change it to “Single”

@TheeeSickestKid
Dear mom, What happened to that line “I’m not one of your little friends,” Sincerely, stop trying to request me on Facebook.

@LovinMyTeenLife
Posting depressing song lyrics as Facebook statuses will make people want to punch you, not feel sorry for you. #JustSaying #LMTL

@WHOASriLawi
Facebook reconnecting me with people from 6 or 7 years back. That’s why I like it!

@misatoast
Wow I got re-connected with a super old friend way back when I was like 19, on facebook! So happy when these things happen.

@DannyFerguson_1
Ugh Facebook has decided to poke back everyone, even the little freaks who poked me like a year ago. Awkwardddd.

Twitter users who tweet about Facebook on Twitter compare the different usage and needs of Facebook and Twitter, express their frustration over specific Facebook’s features, use metaphoric quote style to express the essence of Facebook, and critique settings and etiquette that make socializing in Facebook awkward.  Twitter is a communication platform that allows enough distance and anonymity from “the jail” to freely reflect and vent one’s Facebook opinions and experiences.

© 2011. Meri Kuusi-Shields /Social Media River / Interaria. All rights reserved.

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