My name is danah boyd and I'm a Principal Researcher at Microsoft Research, a Research Assistant Professor in Media, Culture, and Communication at New York University, and a Fellow at Harvard's Berkman Center for Internet and Society. Buzzwords in my world include: privacy, context, youth culture, social media, big data. I use this blog to express random thoughts about whatever I'm thinking.

Relevant links:

Archive

Twitter is for friends; Facebook is everybody

I was talking with a friend of mine today who is a senior at a technology-centered high school in California. Dylan Field and his friends are by no means representative of US teens but I always love his perspective on tech practices (in part cuz Dylan works for O’Reilly and really thinks deeply about these things). Noodling around, I asked him if many of his friends from his school used Twitter and his response is priceless:

Dylan: “as for twitter, we are totally not representative, but ya a lot of people use twitter. it’s funny because the way they are using it is not the way most do… they make private accounts and little sub-communities form. like cliques, basically. so they can post stuff they don’t want people on fb to see, since fb is everybody. it’s odd, because the way i see it get used with my friends is totally contradictory to what everyone is saying. people seem to think teens hate twitter because it’s totally public, but the converse is actually true. but it’s not everyone… probably 10-15% at most.”

As someone who has argued about the challenge of Twitter being public (to all who hold power over teens), I find this push-back to be extremely valuable. What Dylan is pointing out is that the issue is that Facebook is public (to everyone who matters) and Twitter can be private because of the combination of tools AND the fact that it’s not broadly popular.

My guess is that if Twitter does take off among teens and Dylan’s friends feel pressured to let peers and parents and everyone else follow them, the same problem will arise and Twitter will become public in the same sense as Facebook. This of course raises a critical question: will teens continue to be passionate about systems that become “public” (to all that matter) simply because there’s social pressure to connect to “everyone”?

Print Friendly

38 comments to Twitter is for friends; Facebook is everybody

  • Oddly enough, this is quite similar to the way many (self-described) jihadists use Twitter. They make protected accounts & sub-accounts in mini-circles. Many don’t trust Twitter that much, and still use IM heavily, changing accounts frequently.

  • I don’t think that it’s just teens. Certainly I’ve felt for years that I end up moving from network to network to keep the SIZE of that network and how public it is at my control. The blog became a high pressure environment, read by the wrong people, Facebook is full of people that I don’t consider friends and am very conscious of talking in front of, etc. etc.

  • This reminds me of the “I forgot my password” network-purging trick you described before.
    Twitter is a step towards modelling multiple publics (though as ever LJ had most of this years ago).
    Tom seems to be describing Counterpublics in Warner’s terms: http://www.zonebooks.org/titles/WARN_PUB.html

  • danah,
    i didn’t start on twitter with a private account but I did start when twitter was small and therefore not “everyone” saw the conversations.

    i’ve already had several bad experiences with my account where people got upset because i was honest or were nasty about some topic or issue, as well as had someone i worked for stalk me, as well as one or two mentally ill types, and so i made another account that is my unknown public account. i follow less ppl, and don’t have many followers and therefore it’s just less obvious unless you know me. security by obscurity.

    liz lawley thinks that at some point i’ll have to make that account private but for now it’s working.

    i felt like reading your notes and the quote from darren above like i knew just what he was saying. twitter is way to have smaller conversations and facebook is so spread out that really it might as well all be public, even if you go through massive configuration efforts to painstakingly limit the flow of some info there. it’s too much overhead anyway to remember what exact things are limited.

    twitter solves that.

  • ps.. i meant someone else was nasty about some topic or issue i wrote about on twitter.. to be clear. that kind of harassment makes you want to be less public.

  • the tension between ‘publics’ and ‘privates’ or, more aptly, the eruption of private spaces in public spaces (and the inverse) is also salient in the professional lives of most adults. Should I become FB friends with my coworkers? Should I edit my tweets if I know my coworkers are following me? When and where does my professional life end in these spheres and where does my personal life begin?

    At the center of the tensions seems to be, I think, a question about identity and social performance: who should I perform today? Obviously this is an over simplification, but it’s something that adults, as well as teens, negotiate. In their book, The Politics of Gender after Socialism, Susan Gal and Gal Kligman use the idea of ‘fractal recursions’ to illustrate how semiotic shifts can result in the eruption of a public space in a private and vice versa. Gestures and discourse are examples of catalysts for these ‘eruptions’. It’s not a perfect idea, but it’s an interesting way of making sense of these complex private/public moments. I found the idea particularly interesting in my own research on digital culture and middle east and, presuming you’re not already familiar with it, you may find it useful as well.

  • For me twitter has this weird dual purpose – a feed of cool stuff from people that don’t know me eg. you, and a broadcast IM medium to say / find out what bar to go to. Since a lot of people I know have iPhones this later use has migrated somewhat to Foursquare

  • Teens (and everybodu else) could keep their talk within a small circle with account A and share account B with family and broader circle of friends. Not confortable, but posible. I like your point, for some people open acess to their talk (or at least to certain part of it) is not desirable.
    I’m curious about Lewis’s comment on the Jihadist on Twitter. Any suggestions of studies about “underground” networks practices (terrorism, criminals, etc)?

  • I’m certainly not the same demographic as Dylan, closing in on the big 4-0 as I am, but I’m suprised by how totally opposite I approach Facebook and Twitter. For me, Twitter is more public and Facebook private (although certainly not as private as I might like). Some of that might be driven by the fact that the number of people following me on Twitter is 600% higher than the number of friendship invitations I’ve accepted on Facebook. Some could be the difference in the audiences. On Facebook, my family, high school classmates and college classmates, as well as more current friends see my updates and posts. Very few of those people from my past are on Twitter (yet) to see my tweets and I only selectively cross-post between the two. This one is definitely something to keep thinking about…

  • I’m on most of the major social networks, and here’s how I break it down:

    Twitter is for lifecasting. Whatever I feel like saying. As such, it’s primarily personal.

    Facebook is for people who I personally know (I refuse to “friend” anybody I don’t know). MySpace is for those few who haven’t yet switched to Facebook.

    LinkedIn and the blog on my personal site are strictly professional; however, the latter includes links to all the rest of my online presence if anyone’s so inclined.

    I have a funny attitude about privacy; I don’t see anything I do as being particularly private, but I do put different parts of my life in different places. At the same time, almost all of it is under my real name, so it’s all unified anyway.

    BTW, I met Dylan last night at Ignite Sebastopol. And I thought I was smart at that age…

    b.

  • Melanie

    Hmmmm, as a woman, a teacher and somebody who has had their privacy violated in the past I’d have to disagree with your friend on a couple of points and side with Mary Hodder and Liz Lawley on others.

    I think Twitter is far, far, far less ‘private’ than my FB. And that’s because Twitter has only one privacy setting – protect or not protect. Whereas Facebook has dozens. Even Friend Feed allows private account users to conceal their network – and our network provides a whole lot more info about us than many other things.

    For example, I have set my FB account to make me invisible to those who search for me whereas my Twitter is easily found on any search engine. I don’t want strangers from any part of the internet, my past or present joining a network that includes my family and close friends.

    In FB I can eliminate people from seeing who my contacts are (which in the case of people I don’t trust, I don’t want them knowing who my family members are, my friends, etc). With Twitter, it doesn’t matter that my account is private. Anybody can see who I follow or who follows me – if only from a quick glance of icons.

    In Twitter I have a much larger network for knowledge sharing. The larger my network gets the less of *myself* i will share.

    I think perhaps the issue here is *how* we are using it – very differently. Your friend opts to use fewer privacy controls than I do on Facebook whereas I engage more of a public community in Twitter. Public in Twitter because Twitter does NOT offer granular privacy controls.

    There are all kinds of reasons why people want and need privacy. The concept of “safe space” doesn’t just apply to children, it applies to women, minorities, people at risk and those whose jobs don’t permit the anything goes sharing that some groups enjoy. For example teachers: Their school boards, administrators and regulatory bodies expect them to be non persons who are under continuous scrutiny – within our communities (if you live in the same area you teach, you are the teacher 24/7).

    Freedom from surveillance and the “enjoyment” of social media really means a lot of different things to different people depending on – as you have pointed out many times – their relationship to risk or privilege.

    I think how a tool is perceived says much more about the persons using those tools than it does as a general statement for all.

  • I’m so glad your interests are leading you to look more closely at Twitter.
    I enjoy reading individual perspectives like the one you shared here.

    Anytime people come out with reports looking at a (near-)complete corpus of tweets and users, we find interesting information. However, it isn’t very relevant information for most people. The little networks we make are completely unique. A lot of the dynamics I see and value aren’t going to be reflected in the bird’s eye view of the system.

  • Hey Melanie,

    You have a lot of really good points. I think one important vantage point of this issue is not just how people are using it (as you said, very differently) but also WHY people are using it differently. In my experience, it’s very hard to not accept a friend request on Facebook. In a lot of ways, that’s a rude gesture. Limiting profile information can also be perceived as rude. I remember when I had just got a Facebook and didn’t have any content on it yet. A cousin of mine wrote on my wall something like: “OMG, do you have me on limited profile? Jerk.” I had never even heard of limited profile then!

    At this point, it’s hard for me to draw a line in the sand and categorize who can and cannot see my Facebook. (With the exception of people I don’t know.) Rather, I have everyone from my classmates to my coworkers to a “cool” ex-teacher of mine to a few friend’s parents. I think this is a typical experience for a lot of teens. Just the other day, my friend swore on a status update and her aunt left a comment saying “remember, good christian girls don’t use language like that.” A teen’s Facebook may be private to the Internet at large, but we still feel obligated to accept friend requests and therefore really don’t have privacy on the site…. and that’s where Twitter comes into the picture.

  • I think I’m in the same category as Laura Thomas (except that I’m closer to the big 5-0 than 4-0): I use Facebook for friends, and Twitter more for an imagined “public at large”. I wonder if this is a generational difference, or something else that differentiates between these patterns.

  • danah – Would you ask Dylan if he thinks there will be the same kind of thing happen that happens when you set up a home proxy? ie: You share with a couple of “trusted” friends but the circle keeps growing despite your efforts to stem the tide. You end up having to piss off a ton of people when you kill everybody’s access even though they are bums.

  • steve

    It would be interesting to know what percentage of Twitter posts are private. I’m not aware of any figures, Twitter are notoriously tight-lipped on this!

  • Melanie

    Dylan,

    Thanks for responding to my comments. I totally see where you’re coming from about the differing social codes around friending. And it’s pretty fascinating to compare cultures – although i’m increasingly wondering whether it’s really an age thing. I’m thinking more and more this is just about cultures and social codes within those groups – age is a component but not the source of the difference …

    I find it interesting that young people make it so easy to friend each other given the reality that friending isn’t always a genuine. Given the fact that many people (of all ages) are uncomfortable declining a friend request I’m surprised that people don’t – like me – remove “add friend” and leave only “send message” as an option. That way, people are forced to first send some sort of communication – which is much more uncomfortable for the false friend or somebody random than simply clicking that add friend. Having to send a message is far more personal and accountable. At least, it certainly feels that way compared to the disinhibition of “add friend” …

    I suggested the message-only setting for my students who said they were getting increasingly uncomfortable with friend requests they didn’t want.

    Finally, I’m really delighted to see your voice here in danah’s space. In all these conversations about youth online – by educators, researchers and other outsiders to youth culture – we’re really missing the actual youth perspective (i.e., those of us who aren’t parents, teaching youth or engaged in youth communities). So thank you for sharing your insights.

    Maybe danah could invite you to guest blog:)

  • Interesting – I use the new services completely differently. Facebook is just for friends I know “in real life”, with different filters to separate different social groups/locations. Twitter is broad and open, with people able to find me on search terms if they wish

  • Ruth

    I would say that this is generally my experience except for the fact that I have a relatively locked-down Facebook account and my twitter feed is linked to my Facebook Status. As someone else mentioned, LJ has always had an ability for more subtle public/private interactions and one of things that a more recent LJ-clone, Dreamwidth, was dedicated to changing was to make it even more clear the division between your “friends” and the people you’re “watching”. If Facebook is going to go the way of myspace soon it’s going to be because my generation is tired of their parents, long lost elementary school friends, and random creepy guys from your monday class being able to touch so much of your life – because rejecting a friend request is considered the height of rudeness as is a lot of limiting profile information. Recently some friends of mine added their tutorial leader on facebook and we were at a get-together and one of them asked anxiously “Did he put you guys on limited profile too?” and was ultimately relieved for it to be the case because if it had been just her…! They all agreed that it was justified for him to want to maintain some sort of teacher/student respect relationship, but there was that moment of panic.

    Personally, as a 19 year old university student and (apparently) the go-to internet geek of my circle I started out on livejournal because my online-only friends were there. Then some high school kids found it and teased me about it so I made my default friends-only, leaving only my online friends able to access the content. I’ve never used my real name online and didn’t even divulge my age until I reached 17. Then Facebook became necessary for university life and keeping in touch with high school friends, which eventually progressed to my siblings, some aunts, cousins, girls from my soccer team, and random people I met at a party. This was when I started using privacy filters on facebook much more stringently and have made sure I can’t be found using my real name using a google search. Twitter I was one of the first of the people I know to pick up, but only really started using when some of my online-only friends started using it and then I discovered I could link it to my status update on facebook. This was a personal choice in wanting to share who I am now with people who might be used to an older version of me, but my twitter is still friends-only to keep it off public search. Now I’m starting to think I should unlink it, but I know if I do I won’t ever go on facebook again and I’ll lose touch with people.

    My argument has always been that kids who spend a lot of time on the internet are very well aware of privacy issues and it’s the casual users who are really at risk. No early-adopter twitter user is stupid enough to click on a link in a spam email and imput their Visa information. But as web apps become more wildly adopted and public the people who value their privacy will move somewhere else more quiet and small to hang out and be themselves.

    /tl;dr because I wrote an essay on this last year and thank you for bringing it up

  • Wow, huge topic with a bunch of aspects to it.

    One of the big problems a lot of social media isn;t tackling is that the catch all term “friend” is a lie, or at best a masisve oversimplification.

    Not only does this usage create massive social anxieties when rejecting “friend” requests, it’s totally out of tune with how people’s multiple, overlapping but distinct social circles actually operate, and how people offer many different “faces” to the world and to different groups.

    FB particularly and LJ also offer some tools in recognition of this – you can lock certain posts (okay) and certain types of output (better) to set groups of “friends”.

    FB also does bother to ask you HOW you know the people you “friend” /at the time you friend them/, which is extremely key.

    That so many people are using the distinctly clumsy hack of posessing multiple accounts on the same service just illustrates how much this problem needs solving.

  • I tend to agree with Brian Eisley.

    I believe students let all fellow students into their Facebook circle. Most professionals do not use this model.

    Facebook has better granularity of control on who can “follow/friend” you.

    Twitter, unless you have a private feed, allows anyone to follow you (unless you block them), though you’ll know who they are — better than with a blog.

    So, I think:

    LinkedIn: Office
    Facebook: BBQ
    Twitter : Bar

  • I’ve been using Twitter is a similar way (not as a teenager, though).

    It’s gotten quite difficult as many people start importing their networks from elsewhere.

    For me, it really highlights the many problems with not having per-item privacy policies. Flickr has this (though the selection of policies themselves is limited), but Facebook and Twitter do not (Facebook only highly flexible selection of policies, but they are only applied per item-type).

    Even with per-item privacy policies, there can be reasons why people nonetheless adopt a blanket strategy, such as making all their Flickr photos public or private, which can yield some of the same problems. We wrote about this in this paper. I would suggest actively designing these services to encourage variation. When people adopt a blanket strategy, this can have negative consequences for them and the service provider. If they go all public, then they self-censor and latter may be tempted to use this then existing channel even when they don’t want to share without more control. If they go more private, this can prevent participation in a larger community, serendipity, and make it more difficult for the service provider to attract new users.

  • Maxfilm

    I use Facebook and LinkedIn for networking purposes and connecting with friends from all walks of life (FB obviously casting a wider net), but Dylan makes an excellent point — the popularity and reach of FB means that among certain circles, refusing or restricting friend requests is seen as rude or even confrontational (I’ve had people I have no interest in friending re-initiate requests multiple times, call or email to ask what’s wrong, why they can’t see more of a profile, etc).

    Because Twitter (for the moment) makes it easier to establish multiple accounts and establish anonymity, creating subgroups that compartmentalize my interests makes it more useful for me, even though it’s ostensibly more public. And implicit in what Dylan said, there isn’t the assumption of reciprocity when it comes to following that there is with FB — I follow a lot of media types that can’t be bothered to follow me, and likewise a bunch of people who twitter about everything in their lives follow me because I tweet about something specific that interests them, but I don’t follow many of them.

    As with all things internet, I obviously watch what I post in any network, but I never thought I would find twitter more useful (140 character limit be damned): I like keeping my interests in the arts and sports in one twitter account and the business stuff (far less useful) in another account. I’m totally with Dylan that FB carries too much baggage with it at this point, even though its privacy controls have gotten much better. It was interesting to see a tweet from another frequent tweeter this morning: that she considers FB a glorified birthday reminder calendar at this point.

  • Maxfilm

    I use Facebook and LinkedIn for networking purposes and connecting with friends from all walks of life (FB obviously casting a wider net), but Dylan makes an excellent point — the popularity and reach of FB means that among certain circles, refusing or restricting friend requests is seen as rude or even confrontational (I’ve had people I have no interest in friending re-initiate requests multiple times, call or email to ask what’s wrong, why they can’t see more of a profile, etc).

    Because Twitter (for the moment) makes it easier to establish multiple accounts and establish anonymity, creating subgroups that compartmentalize my interests makes it more useful for me, even though it’s ostensibly more public. And implicit in what Dylan said, there isn’t the assumption of reciprocity when it comes to following that there is with FB — I follow a lot of media types that can’t be bothered to follow me, and likewise a bunch of people who twitter about everything in their lives follow me because I tweet about something specific that interests them, but I don’t follow many of them.

    Yes, anyone could follow you on Twitter, but there’s always blocking as an option, and again, the multiple granular accounts enables more segmentation and the ability to create a sub-community or stream of subject-specific tweets, which (ideally) allows for exchanges of greater interest and utility.

    As with all things internet, I obviously watch what I post in any network, but I never thought I would find twitter more useful (140 character limit be damned)…but I really like keeping my interests in the arts and sports in one twitter account and the business stuff (far less useful) in another account. I’m totally with Dylan that FB carries too much baggage with it at this point, even though its privacy controls have gotten much better. It was interesting to see a tweet from another frequent tweeter this morning: that she considers FB a glorified birthday reminder calendar at this point.

  • Maxfilm

    Sorry for the double post– browser crashed while posting.

  • Lilian Starobinas replied to my initial comment and wondered about any studies of terrorist/underground network use of social media. There are a lot of classified studies going on in government circles right now, but here’s an indicative unclassified one that made its way to the media:
    http://www.fas.org/irp/eprint/mobile.pdf , see p 7 “Potential for Terrorist Use of Twitter”

    Just as in that piece, though, it’s obvious that these kinds of uses are little understood (yet) and in some cases hyped beyond reality.

  • Initially when high school began I was not the most popular of kids. I was rather awkward, asymmetric, sometimes outspoken, and generally nervous. Not uncommon I know but by the mid-point of my sophomore year some measure of balance had seeped into my routine via extracurricular excursions into the local (Pittsburgh) rock and coffee shop scenes. In these urban hideaways I escaped the rigor of my prep school life and the pressures of being the school’s top tennis talent. I made friends from all over the city, met my first girlfriends, and learned the thrill of innocent debauchery. In essence, I became comfortable in my own skin, found a way to avoid the criticisms of the cliques and bullies that plagued my elementary and junior high years, and moved forward into life rather seamlessly.

    Your post re-framed these memories for me Danah in that I heard Dylan explaining how he and his classmates seek comfortable anonymity within the structure of social networks that provide varying levels of identity centered flexibility. It appears that they are successfully finding this. Moreover, I acknowledge that these networks are often engineered to promote anonymity; Yet, if the vast majority of students at a particular high school are all on Facebook, Twitter, MySpace…then where do the kids who want out of those social structures go(on the Net)? Where are their rock clubs and coffee shops? These physical spots still exist, but what is a young 2ndGen Digital Native to do? Are private Facebook groups, locked MySpace pages, and secret blogs enough? Where does the counterculture go when the hangouts they support in their infancy are so quickly forced to expand at rates faster than even Moore’s Law? Where does a kid go when the bullies, cliques, and parents all start hanging out in his clubhouse? What are the digital coffeehouses, rockclubs, and neighborhoods of the future? Thanks for reading folks.

    BREWTON

  • Ruth

    re: BREWTON

    Thanks for bringing that up, that’s another important point. I owe so much of my self-confidence to the people I met online under a pseudonym and didn’t tell my real name to for years. I could keep my parents out of my school life (to a certain extent) and my online life, what I did online didn’t impact my school friendships. Of course you reach a point where you want to connect all these things to become a more whole person, but I hope that a younger version of me is still able to find a place online or otherwise where they can try out new versions of themselves to see what fits.

    This would be a fascinating research topic to pick up – where do the current high school generation go online to escape their peers?

  • I always separate between Twitter and Facebook in terms of interaction. taking for your division of online social media, I say that Twitter is Social Networking site – it allows me to network with people I don’t know, while Facebook is strictly Social Network site – I engage only with people I do know.
    It’s interesting to understand and to see the difference between teen culture and adult culture. I wonder what will be the future of use.

  • Also, the use of Twitter’s private accounts is hidden – in terms of privacy of the users, as well as actually understanding the usage of people on it. Would be interesting to “infiltrate” in order to understand it more.

  • Thank you, Lewis, for the link.
    I would like to see more people working on this also here in Brasil, so that we can have inteligence preceding the tendence of prohibition, specially when the issue is digital networks.
    All the best
    Lilian

  • RE: Ruth

    I agree that the ability for young people to maintain digital outlets where they can attempt different versions of themselves is of the utmost importance. I missed the opportunity to experiment in this way when I was a teenager. John Palfrey and Urs Gasser’s phenomenal work in Born Digital covers this subject at length.

    Additionally, I agree that researching where high school studetns go online to escape their peers would be fascinating work. I would also be curious to hear the stories of those who chose to leave networks (MySpace and Facebook) once their peers and family members began using them.

    BREWTON

  • Ash

    I totally agree with the observation of twitter being “private”. I am a 20 year old uni student and used to post fb status’ all the time but got annoyed at certain people knowing everything about me. I blocked a couple of the more irritating once (as in I blocked them from seeing my status) but then I went through some personal issues that I wanted to vent as I was addicted to status updates but I didn’t want everyone knowing about it so I blew the dust off my twitter log in page and now use it nearly every day.

  • Gabe

    @BREWTON – I was actually thinking about the new found publicity that today’s youth are having to contend with on the Internet. I’m 31 now, so I’m just old enough to remember actually dialing a telephone to contact friends. Even though I was on the internet 15 years ago (geek that I am), fortunately most of my teenage debauchery is still safely ensconced in polaroids and the memories of my friends.

    So to me the more interesting question for today’s youth, is not where they will find their escape (the Internet is plenty big enough), but how they will maintain their privacy, and will they develop the savvy to keep their shit clean and off the public record. Just look at the sexting scandals going on these days. When I was a kid, and I suspect for all of human history, we did much worse, and the adults never had clue one.

  • I’m jumping into this conversation late, but it’s got my mind spinning. What I”m wondering is how are the public forums that we’re all joining changing our perceptions of privacy and relationships.

    Here’s what I mean: I generally don’t view anything that I write online—whether it’s on my blog, in Facebook or on Twitter—as private. Instead, as Chris Lehmann once wrote, “my private life begins once I walk away from the computer.”

    That “no-privacy boundary” changes the way I participate in online communities. I’m careful about what I reveal and cautious about what I’m willing to say. My online contributions and relationships are measured instead of entirely open.

    But I’m starting to feel a “spill-over effect” into my face-to-face relationships. I’m more cautious than ever…even skeptical to some degree…when interacting with others simply because I’ve had to put that “filter” on my online relationships.

    Does this make any sense? Is it possible that I’m translating behaviors from my online relationships to my real-live relationships?

    And more importantly, are our students making the same translations?
    Bill

  • Sherlin

    I’m using MSM’s demo version for Twitter, pretty cool application, I guess its better than both humming bird and others in that you can very cleanly remove all non following friends, ON ALL PAGES, I liked it pretty much.

    http://www.microsocialmarketer.com/2009/07/twitter-marketer.html

    Still in demo though, can add 15 in one go, does any one know where the full version of this app is availble??

  • Sherlin

    I’m using MSM’s demo version for Twitter, pretty cool application, I guess its better than both humming bird and others in that you can very cleanly remove all non following friends, ON ALL PAGES, I liked it pretty much.

    http://www.microsocialmarketer.com/2009/07/twitter-marketer.html

    Still in demo though, can add 15 in one go, does any one know where the full version of this app is availble??

  • i have to disagree with your statement that twitter is for friends, facebook for everybody. i think that’s patently false, and – in fact – the direct opposite.

    twitter is for everybody, facebook is for friends.

    the whole point of social media and social networking is the “social” part. if you’re locking down your twitter account letting only certain people follow, you’re doing it wrong. facebook acts the same (but was originally the entire point of the service. it has since changed dramatically.), allowing only those you want to see your pictures, movies, personal information to see it. i think this point is most evident in that facebook calls connections “friends” whereas twitter calls them “followers”… there’s an inherent separation of public and private in the use of the two words.

    but i do agree with your point that teens and young people don’t want their parents or school teachers to follow their updates on twitter, or to be their friend (and therefore see their activity) on facebook. it’s what being young is all about. your whole life you’ve grown up under someone’s rules and regulations.. now you want to be free from supervision. social networks used to give this freedom to young persons, but – with grown celebrities, oprah, martha stewart, large corporations, etc. joining these social networks – we’re starting to see a backlash of young persons against these networks.

    parents are not cool. what teenager wants to be uncool? it’s only natural they don’t want to be friends with their own parents.

Leave a Reply

 

 

 

You can use these HTML tags

<a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>