sleeping alone and starting out early

an occasional blog on culture, education, new media, and the social revolution. soon to be moved from

…and yet I don’t use Facebook much lately

Posted by Jenna McWilliams on September 15, 2009

This blog has been an unofficial Don’t Say Facebook is Over zone. I’m not quite willing to let go of that stance, especially since statistics suggest that Facebook activity continues to increase worldwide.

But you guys, I really don’t use Facebook that much anymore. And I’m not alone: Lots of my friends have drifted away too. Most of us prefer Twitter now, which means that one of the more interesting features of Facebook–the friend newsfeed–is clogged up by lame quiz results and remediated tweets that I’ve already read. All of the interesting stuff is going on over at twitter now, and Facebook is starting to feel like the social networking version of a print newspaper: I already got all the important news elsewhere, and the rest of what’s there feels like filler.

More significantly, gaining a new Twitter follower feels like a bigger win to me than adding a Facebook friend does.

Now, I don’t want to open myself up to accusations of Virginia Heffernanism. I’m not going to argue that my experience is symptomatic of any larger social networking trends. As far as I can tell, Facebook is far from an “online ghost town.” In fact–and this seems important–as Facebook increasingly becomes the domain of an older and generally less social networking-savvy demographic, it’s shifting to accommodate its new users’ needs and interests. Though it has certainly tried, Facebook just can’t keep up with the dynamic, socially complex Twitterspace; and the more it embraces this fact, the more it attempts to fortify the features it can uniquely offer, the more likely its continued success becomes.

3 Responses to “…and yet I don’t use Facebook much lately”

  1. lauramcwilliams said

    I've drifted away from Facebook, too. I find the lists of quiz results annoying and I'm just really not interested. Also, the status updates are Twitter-like but less interesting. (A recent discovery: ending a tweet with #fb posts your status on FB. It's a complicated and super-interesting turn of events. I go to twitter to update my FB status now.)
    I have been forced to start using Facebook more, though, since I started law school. My law school friends, most of whom are younger than I–in their early to mid twenties–use facebook and don't even HAVE twitter accounts. I'm pretty sure they'll get there but for now our frivolous conversations happen mostly in facebook status form.
    Check out the 46 stages of Twitter:

  2. Diane Glosson said

    I too have drifted…I've found that some of my friends use it to promote their careers, or advertise what they are selling and now it seems there is also businesses that track and headcount activities/happenings. I think one of the scariest things is all of the quizzes that take place give them access to your data and your friend's and family as well… and I personally don't want to be a guinea pig for some commercial entity. What happened to simple socializing?

  3. ithiliana said

    Drifting in from LJ to say that I've been on Livejournal since 2003, I never went for Facebook, and refuse to do Twitter (140 characters you have GOT to be kidding), and find that LJ meets all of my social networking, fandom, aca-fan, and creative needs! And I can rss feed the blogs I want to read as well!

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