If any of you read my article on the Kettle Mag website the other week, you’ll understand my addiction to social networking websites- and if you haven’t, you should do here.
It’s a very personal account of the reasons I’m addicted to social networking site, but what it doesn’t cover is the positives of them. I guess that’s probably because I’ve only just started seeing that myself.
Now, currently I actively use Instagram (for pretty pictures), Facebook (for being nosy) and Twitter (for a million 140 character updates). Though I do sometimes overlap them- like posting some Instagram photos on Facebook and Twitter, I am more than aware that every social media website has it’s individual functions.
The main example of this is the whole Twitter vs. Facebook debate for me. People who link their Twitter accounts to their Facebooks, so that whenever they post a Tweet it appears on their Facebook feed. Not so bad I guess since many Facebook-loyal people otherwise wouldn’t see it and it saves you posting it a million times, but what about when you (like me) update your Twitter several times a day?
I used to get nagged about how many times I updated my Facebook status which is why I got Twitter in the first place.
But more recently I’ve seen many more advantages to the two social media websites. This is mainly from a professional and informal point of veiw:
Facebook is a private entity, by which I mean many people are far more likely to use this website to write about everything and anything. Uploading drunk photos from the previous night? You’d put them in a album entitled ‘University antics’ rather than posting them individually on Instagram. Need to write an essay to a friend- it’s more likely to go on their Facebook wall or their chat box because, in all honesty, how can you fit all of that gossip in 140 characters?
Twitter is a public entity. As in you can interact with celebrities, professionals and even Luke Friend’s hair (apologies for the X Factor reference if you’re a bit more cultured than that, but with over 4,000 followers it’s a business!) It can act as an introduction, you can learn more about them simply by ‘following’ them minus the stalking factor. I even know many lecturers at my university who are embracing Twitter to speak to their students and make them aware of upcoming events/valuable infomation.
Me, for example? I recently took my Twitter off it’s private setting since I realised the benefits of using it as a method of interaction rather than simply a tool to rant. This became especially useful when I had an article published in my student newspaper regarding the department of Social Work at the university having a book club. Within an hour the article had been retweeted, favourited and viewed by individuals not only with access to the paper copies available at the university but also by the online version in other universities. I had people ‘tweeting’ me about their thoughts on the article, and even had the author of the next book that the book club is focusing on, Lisa Cherry (@_LisaCherry), following me.
I can praise or critise businesses or individuals for their service on Twitter and have found that I am far more likely to get a response.
And that, ladies and gentlemen, is why I’ve finally given into the joys of Twitter. Though I still use Facebook, of course, I feel that I’m far more excited for any Twitter notifications that I recieve now rather than a simple like or event request on Facebook. Next step: getting to grips with Linkedin!