Twitter > Facebook

Posted: December 10, 2009 in Heart, People
Tags: , , ,

I started on Orkut during my first year at B school. Junked it after passing out and moved to Facebook. However sometime around a year back, I deleted both my long dormant Orkut account and the very active Facebook one.

Knowing my frequent quirks, no one asked me anything about it. Finally, when VSS did ask me why, the answer came out sharp, surprising even me. I was surprised how true the answer was and how swiftly it came out. Though now I realise that the answer I gave him was more of a post-event analysis than what may really have been the reason. And that the answer I gave him more fits the question, ‘Why I prefer twitter over facebook?’

The answer, my friend, is blowing in the…. ether. Facebook is, for me and for most people out there, a simple way of connecting with people we already know – close friends, old friends, barely friends, people we have crushes on, people we had crushes on, people who have/had crushes on us, batch mates, classmates, colleagues, acquaintances, people we met at a common friend’s party. The stuff that happens over there, is the same that happens in real life – chatting with close friends, checking out crushes’ latest snaps, bakar on random peoples’ walls. Also most of this stuff happens with probably 10% of our friends. The rest are there just because we added them sometime, have no interest anymore but are still in our friend list because it’d be unsocial to remove them. This is the beginning of my end – ‘why did you unfriend me?’

The internet is, for me personally, about freedom to be myself. And when people bring on their social mores up there, it starts getting too stiff for me to handle. Then add to it the fact that the people I really want to interact with are already there on my gtalk list, frequently emailed list and frequently called list. Why in this world should I bear the social niceties and intrusion of a thousand useless people to interact with these guys? And for all that matters, most of the thousand other people out there find me as impossibly boring and pricky as I find them. However, neither can remove the other or restrict access. Isn’t it enough that I have to bear with people in real life and behave according to norms all the time outside? Why should I do it online? So, I said, FU Facebook and Orkut. Pressed delete on my accounts :)

Then, there is twitter. Yes, it too has its social norms but, it being twitter, they’re more disobeyed than obeyed. Friending here is the best way it should be – just because you consider me worthy of a follow, doesn’t imply I have to return the favour. It shall happen but only if I like what you post. I may not agree with what you say, but if I like it, if it interests me, if it even riles me enough, I shall follow you. But definitely not for reasons of a social norm, or a SN rule.

But the thing that I like most about twitter is the fact that it lets me jump outside my regular circle. It lets me know more people who I would have never known otherwise.

In 2.5 years of living in Bombay, all the people I knew were the various IIM grads -2/+2 batches, professional acquaintances and a small creep into their similar circles. It was the same people to meet in  office or on weekends, same people on facebook and orkut, and the same people at parties or reunions. Opinions from the same crowd that I’d known for last 5 years.

In my 2+ years, I didn’t know a single local bambaiya friend (apart from a few juniors in a project orgn). Now there are a dozen who may tweet in English but have a perspective of a local-bred. Now, I follow 5 journos – each with different opinion and a different personality. Earlier, not counting friends from Delhi, I knew zero. Even better, for some people I interact most with on twitter, I don’t even know what they do, where they live in our city, or how they look. It doesn’t matter. All that matters is the personality they bring on to this ethereal melting pot and then we can choose who to hangout with.

The relationships, on facebook & orkut, were first made offline and then carried online. Here, they are primarily online (atleast for me) though they can easily be transferred offline as well. 1 month of tweeting each other and I met khuranakaran in Goa. Alongside, I met tanya25m, karanmakhania and goobimama. 10 trips to goa and I’d barely interacted with a local outside my needs. And now I have 3 friends I can ping everytime I’m headed that way. I go to the wallproject @ tulsipipe road and end up meeting another 4-5 people I wouldn’t have known existed. Thanks to the joblessness, my FB friends would offer me words of support and, perhaps, a few snicker behind my back. Out of the blue, this HR female who I’d been chatting with for barely a few weeks on twitter offers to try and help.

I ask for book suggestions and 3 people load me with so many suggestions that all of my current cash might be too little to buy them all. And they’re all excellent suggestions from people who’ve got nothing to gain from me. And perhaps may never even meet me. It’s just a free world and you do what you can, you do what you want.

That, in brief, is why Twitter > Facebook. Atleast for me.

Also because this might be the only place in the world where everyone can shout down Chetan Bhagat and get away with it.

And definitely the only place in the world where Gul Panag follows me :)

Update 30 Jan 2010: Now, also the only place where Mahesh Murthy follows me! I grew up getting all my inspiration from his columns and almost idolised him. I must have done something right to have him follow me. (As it turns out, he follows me just because we both live in the same corner of our earth – Bandra W)

  1. […] 8, 2011 by raven in Misc., Quotes Tags: Facebook, Friends, Twitter 0 A little over an year ago, I wrote a post stating why Twitter trumped Facebook for me as a user, while also touching on why I’d quit […]

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