Tuesday, July 28, 2009


(this is seriously not just a shameless attempt for traffic, I don't care)

I follow Carlos Whittaker's blog, and today's post of his seemed simple at first and it really caught me as I was typing a response. It ended up being far too long for the standard comment, so instead I put it here. If you want to know who he is (and you should), google him.

His post was essentially just a message and response that he got on facebook from a friend of his. Here it is:

Instead of talking about the amazing creativity in his post, I just wanted to talk about the substance.

First of all, very few people know how to use facebook. It happens. You learn by having someone tell you how. Like hiding updates or applications or whatnot. No big deal, ignorance happens, you learn, profit! This whole problem could easily be just something at face value. Los' twitterfeed clogged up his FB, and he just wanted it cleared.

But I have a hard time thinking anything is ever just at "face value."

Twitter is a funny thing.

It seems harder to catch onto than facebook, which is odd because it's so much simpler. Twitter is essentially just the facebook status update with nothing else about facebook.

Twitter seems to turn a lot of people off. Like the person who wrote that email. I find that interesting.

Facebook is a great time waster. But when it gets down to it, that's all it is. Facebook has games, applications, quizzes, pictures, movies, chain emails from 10 years ago that have now become chain note posts, and all other kinds of time wasters.

Twitter has....well...a status update. And the status updates of others with whatever is said or linked to in them.

Facebook is a giant time sucker. It allows me to plug into whatever application I feel like piddling around in to waste my time until I get bored with it and then move on to something else. I put my focus into it most of the day at the office and for a little bit in the evenings until it's time to go to bed. And then I get to do it again tomorrow. Facebook fills the hours with mafia fighting, farming, dice (FARKLE!!), poker, quizzes and the like. And then periodically, you comment on your friend's post. Or someone comments on yours and a bit of a dialogue emerges.....or just a comment and little dialogue, w/e.

Twitter has one thing, the status update: What are you doing?

What IS it you're doing? What are you focusing your energy on? What is so important to you that it takes up your time? What is on your mind? What are you thinking about? That's what twitter forces you to identify, and talk about. Twitter is entirely dialogue, with no fillers or time wasters to distract from the conversation.

Twitter is a scary thing to many. As is anything new, or especially anything that focuses people to self-examine...even a little bit. Twitter forces small statements from whatever is on your mind. People can judge you from that.

You're judged on your thoughts that you have to put out in 140 characters or less. As opposed to your games and whatnot on FB. Twitter becomes too personal. Too "real." Facebook is a place to hide out and bury yourself. Twitter puts you in the spotlight. What you're doing. What you have to say. What you think.

People are made uneasy by that sort of transparency, even if it's only filtering in to them via someone's linked Twitterfeed on their FB status.

Transparency is hard. But it's required for life. For community with each other. Why are we afraid of it on these here interwebs? We need to be in a position of vulnerability. We need to put ourselves out there and be in community with one another. With things that are real. Things that matter.

We need to know what it is we're doing and thinking. Know where one another's priorities are, where our minds are, where our time, treasure and hearts are.