Why I Left Facebook for Twitter

Photo found on cambodia4kidsorg Flickr page

I am big on posting and using social media sites such as Facebook and Twitter. Sometimes, I just enjoy reading about what others post on their social media site. (Does that make me a stalker?) Facebook has 889.3 million users while Twitter has over 200 million users. It’s safe to say, there is a lot of “facebooking” and “tweeting” being done. From my own personal experiences with these two major social media sites, I enjoy the endless & sometimes obnoxious amounts of tweeting and  the essay-length Facebook statuses, but I’ve recently made a decision that could be hard for some, but not for me. Any guesses?

I dumped Facebook and went with Twitter. Talk about a relief. Now, that doesn’t mean I deactivated my Facebook or stopped using the social site. I just use it a lot less than Twitter. What I’m about to tell you, in no way do I demand you to stop using Facebook. My partner and I have been dating for almost two years now and obviously our relationship status on Facebook says we are dating each other. A while back, I use to post a lot of stuff on Facebook such as photos, update my status almost every day, etc. One day my partner told me that I wasn’t popular as he was on Facebook and that I don’t get as many “likes” on my photos or statuses as he does. Although he was joking about it, I did take his statement into consideration and since then, I do not get on Facebook that often and started using Twitter more, a lot more.

According to the wonderful world of communications, what I experienced is a social comparison. After my partner told me that I wasn’t as popular as he was regarding how many likes on my statuses and photos, I started to compare myself to him. For instance, on our one year anniversary, you can imagine that we both put up a status about it. He may have gotten about 30 or so likes on his while I may have gotten about 15 or so. Although, those numbers are probably not accurate, I’m just providing an example. By reading Julia Wood’s book, I also experienced reflected appraisal where the perception of me was made by how others saw myself and in this case, my partner. By him saying what he said, I saw myself not as popular and thought of myself as so. By him telling me, “You are not as popular as me.”, I also experienced direct definition which by his statement, I was directly told and labeled unpopular. Since it was in a negative way, it lowered my self-esteem and made my self-concept as not popular.

There was an article that I read(thanks to Professor Johnson) about how Facebook can make you feel bad about your very own self. In the article it says that one in three felt bad after visiting Facebook because of they were comparing themselves to their peers regarding such things as vacation photos and lack of “likes” on their own photos. The article also says that those same people are more likely to either leave Facebook or reduce their time on the social site. Ironic, isn’t it?

The world of communication is a fascinating and unique one. We just do not know how much communication, in so many forms, affects our lives. I feel I have so much more to learn and thankfully, this interpersonal communication class is really helping and I am actually enjoying learning about interpersonal communication. Stated before, I’m not here to tell you to stop using Facebook, but to get to know a bit more about interpersonal communication because I know we all have been there where we envied another person’s photo or saw how many likes we got or lack thereof. It is okay not to get many likes or tons of comments on your photos. I will admit though, leaving Facebook for Twitter was the best thing that happened to me. 🙂

5 thoughts on “Why I Left Facebook for Twitter

  1. Gabrielle Pedro says:

    Hi Jason!

    Great article! You bring up a lot of valid points regarding Facebook and Twitter, it’s enough to almost make someone want to convert.

    When you mentioned the article that was shared by Dr. Naomi about people becoming depressed due to Facebook use, I thought about another way that people could be depressed from using it.

    Some people can be jerks, even if they’re joking. But either way, some jokes can be hurtful. To add to your input on reflected appraisals, the presence of downers (people who chose to judge us negatively and only communicate our flaws and undermine our dreams) and vultures (individuals who extremely attack every aspect of our selves, traits, goals, and actively seek to bring us down) could help harm the self-esteem of someone online. I even (sadly) think about the people who become so depressed after becoming victims of cyber bullying that they choose to take their own lives.

    I don’t want to be depressing anymore so I’ll change the subject. But I happen to like Twitter because it’s harder for people to follow our activity and prey on us with negative comments.

    This is a very innovative post, bringing up some great points about social media use! Great post, can’t wait to hear more!

  2. Colleen Cofer says:

    Jason,
    This blog is so true! Facebook can have such a negative effect on people’s self esteem.

    You mentioned that your partner had given you a direct definition by saying that “he was more popular than you.” (Which is true) But I think that Facebook already has some identity scripts that are known by the internet community. Identity scripts define our roles and how to fulfill them. On Facebook it is known that you want to have a lot of likes and comments because that meant that you are popular. The script is that we are supposed to be popular. This has probably been enforced by other scripts in our lives but Facebook has supported it.

    There are a lot of great things about Facebook and social networking site, but there are also a lot of disadvantages to it as well. I enjoyed hearing your story and I love how honest this entry is.

  3. Amanda Painter says:

    Jason,

    I enjoyed reading your blog! It raised a great issue happening around us every day. Social networks are, what seems to be, the center of a lot of our generations lives. You brought up a great example and gave an awesome source! You also incorporated social comparison, reflected appraisal, and direct definition with great insight and information along with each. I also loved how you asked us questions throughout your blog which made us think about it more in depth.

    To expand on your topic, I also believe that using social networks can be incorporated with Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs. Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs includes physical needs, safety needs, belonging needs, self esteem needs, and self actualization needs according to Interpersonal Communication by Julia Wood. I believe that your topic of social networks can be associated with both belonging needs and self esteem needs. Facebook can make a person feel as though they belong to something and are friends with people, even if they do not know them. You can belong to groups and add pictures of certain things that you go to or are a part of. You can brag and make people jealous of you. All of these things can go under that category, but self esteem needs can be both good and bad. If you get hundreds of likes on a picture, your self esteem will definitely go up, but if you get none, it will go down. If you only have five friends compared to a friend who has five hundred, you will automatically lose self esteem because of it. Going along with your blog and how you chose twitter over Facebook, a lot of these issues arise because of the need of self esteem. Some people become addicted to this boost in self esteem and seek it more and more as time goes on. This is also a problem of Facebook, which gives people a little more incentives to switch to twitter.

    I liked your blog and it gave great insight. I could relate, although I am still a Facebook addict. I must say that I am addicted to that boost of self esteem and the need to “stalk” people. I enjoyed your blog, nice work!

    References

    Wood, J. T. (2009). Interpersonal communication: everyday encounters. (7th ed.). Boston, MA: Wadsworth Cengage Learning.

  4. Daena Bodie says:

    This post is so accurate, especially the reflected appraisal. It seems so often that through social media, facebook more than anything, that we start to think about how we see ourselves through the opinions or ‘likes’ of others.

    Your example of the status comparison is the perfect way to sum it up, if you aren’t getting likes and somebody else is for something that is similar or in your case the exact same it makes you wonder how people perceive you. That can be extremely damaging for someone if they take that badly or in the wrong manner. It can definitely lead to a lack of confidence and willingness to actually use facebook.

    I say that because it seems like it is set up in such a judgmental way, where people are always searching to achieve a form of recognition for something they did or just to be noticed by others and when that doesn’t happen it can be detrimental because of reflected appraisal. You start to judge yourself on how you think people look at you. Now realistically and like Emily said, it shouldn’t really matter but it bothers everyone to an extent. A situation like that can just breed a lack of confidence in people through the response or lack of response from others

    Daena.

  5. Emily Leonard says:

    Mr. Brown,

    I feel as if you took the words right out of my mouth. While I never had a person compare me outright to themselves or others, I have had a personal instance of a social comparison while on Facebook. Its the same as you said… the “liking” factor. Although so petty and unimportant in the grand scheme of things, it does make you question why you are not measuring up to your peers, or in your case, your loved one; especially with you both posting the same content in your status’! Another thing I would like to add to this topic is the big wide world of Instagram. For those of you that are not acquainted with this App, it is just a newsfeed consisting only of pictures…well now, and videos in a stream for you to view. You can “like” or comments these pieces of media, as well as link them up to other social media sites such as Twitter and Facebook. But in the case of Instagram, there is no avoiding social comparison! As you scroll, you inevitable see the number of “likes” each of your friends photos has received and the comments as well. There is even as “explore” section of Instagram, where the site posts the most popular photos as of current. Talk about feeling not up to par; some users receive over a million likes on their uploads! This all points back to our wonderful world of Twitter: friendly, private, and easily managed!

Leave a Reply