With social media now an integral part of everyday life, our preferences towards either Facebook or Twitter can say a lot about us. While the similarities between the two are obvious (the main goal being to connect people from all over the world at any given moment), the differences are a bit harder to make out. While Twitter is great for a steady flow of information and interactions with people who may be far beyond your social circle, Facebook is a lot more personal and intimate. Your News Feed is filled with current updates on your friends, families and acquaintances’ lives whereas your Twitter feed might teach you a new fact every five minutes (@OMGFacts), or inform you of Kim Kardashian’s latest manipulation of a word starting with the letter “K” (“kasual”). The functionality of status updates versus Tweets also speaks to the type of image you strive to portray to the larger social world. Tweets tend to require more thought and they focus on the collective or individual spheres of our lives. While we might Tweet something that is trending in order to get in on the action and feel relevant, we might also create a new hashtag about something only a select few have talked about.
With a 140 character limit, Twitter users are forced to choose the most humorous or remarkable insights from their internal monologue. It’s almost as if Twitter is the start of a new relationship when you try harder to impress and woo your mate while Facebook is that point in the relationship where you don’t worry about sounding or acting inappropriate because you feel entitled to a little provocation now and again. Facebook is dinner with your roommates while Twitter is lunch with the President (because the Prime Minister wouldn’t have dinner with you anyways). That’s not to say that Twitter is better than Facebook; each site occupies its own niche in modern society. By distinguishing the functionality of each form of social media, we can better understand and engage in our use with either or. So whether you prefer Twitter or Facebook, the better knowledge you have about how to express yourself within each, the more comfortable you’ll feel in transcribing your life out into the virtual world.