Today’s guest post is by Lindsay Bell.
As this year winds down, many of you are pausing and reflecting.
I’m no different.
This year (and a half) has been a tough one for me and my family.
My husband and I were both laid off – twice – at the exact same time.
We’re one of those annoying couples who do everything together.
There’ve been health hiccups, and, as seems to be the case as we all get older, we’ve lost good friends.
The world around us has seen war and unimaginable wickedness transpire that made each of us grab the ones we love and hold on a little tighter.
But 2012 brought a boat-load of happiness as well. New friends, new opportunities, great love, and hope on the horizon.
As my dear old dad always said, “A change is as good as a rest.” And another big change happened for me this year. I broke up with Twitter.
All kidding aside though, those of us who work with social media, and use it regularly in our personal lives, usually have a favorite. One platform that we open first, chat on more, share things to most often. For the last few years, personally, that platform has been Twitter. I loved Twitter. I connected with people from all around the world, and made friends who I feel deeply connected to, even though we had never met in real life.
Aside from a brief period when I was obsessed with Farmville (Yeah. I said it.), I kept schtum. Being on the job hunt these last few years, I categorized my social properties: Facebook was family and a few close friends, while Twitter was work-related. And ne’er the twain shall meet.
So, when I received a tweet from a pal in Australia recently asking me where I’d been, it made me stop and think. Because she was right – I was cheating on Twitter with Facebook.
When I really thought about it, I came up with a few reasons why, and none of them involved the seven year itch. During the past year or so, a number of things happened: I gained confidence in the social space, meaning I was less paranoid about someone seeing a candid photo of myself, or reading a goofy post.
All of those job changes allowed me to meet a wider variety of folk, many of whom were Facebook aficianadi. Without even realizing I was doing it, I began to cross-populate Facebook with many of my friends from Twitter. And slowly, through conversation and commenting, I met more and more people.
Suddenly, Facebook was a blast! Conversation flows seamlessly, and people are just different on Facebook. Some of the most “serious” (in my mind) people I followed on Twitter, turned out to be a hoot and a half on Facebook! Facebook was the ‘beers on the back deck’ to the boardroom of Twitter. And y’all know I love beer.
Before writing about this, I did what any self-respecting social media type would do – I took it to the streets. This non-scientific poll determined one thing. People love to dole out the snark on Facebook! Stacey Hood, stuck in the ’80’s, loves faxing poetry. Paul Sutton really likes FacetwitinterestInsquare+ (which I promptly trademarked); Daniel Agee deeply misses Gowalla; and fellow Canuck Susan Murphy couldn’t decide between Geocities, Plurk, or identi.ca. She also asked if I regretted crowdsourcing. Yes. Yes I did.
A few people said they disliked it but needed to be there “because everyone else is.”
But overall, most people liked Facebook. Marjorie Claymen loves the ease with which conversation develops and threads can be followed. Susie Erjavec Parker enjoys FB (and Twitter) for doing research. Helen Androlia seems oddly guilt ridden about her affection for ‘The Book of Face’ as she calls it, saying “I know it’s wrong, but why does it feel so right?”, and even Gini Dietrich admitted Facebook had replaced Twitter in her affections.
Facebook takes a lot of flack, much of it warranted. But for me, at the end of 2012, it’s my go-to social property.
Change is scary, and at times you can’t imagine what good will come of it. But usually, if you embrace it, evolve, and roll with it, you can come out the other side with positives that far outweigh the negatives. It seems dear old Dad was right. A change IS as good as a rest.
I’ll leave you with this: Have you seen a change in your social habits this year? And do you have a favorite social platform?
Lindsay Bell is the content director at Arment Dietrich, and works in Toronto. A former TV producer, she’s a strong advocate of three minutes or less of video content. She has a cool kid, a patient husband, and two annoying cats.