MyFaceTwitTumJournal

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My brother is super anti-Facebook. He’s super anti-a lot of things, and usually only with the justification of, “I don’t like this thing and no logical argument will be acknowledged.” In his heated defense of his stance he repeats himself frequently, and one thing I’ve heard over and over lately is a quote he read on Twitter. “Facebook is the lies you tell your family and Twitter is the truth you tell to strangers.”

I’ve been emailing back and forth with Meg’s brother about The Walking Dead for a couple of weeks now. He’s not familiar with fandoms, beyond Meg, and he didn’t have anyone else to discuss the show with (since Meg is being stubborn and not loving it the way we do). He said he got a Twitter for that purpose, but it was too lonely, like shouting into a void. I get that. Even with a good size group of people I regularly converse with on Twitter, it does occasionally feel like I’m talking to myself.

My 10 year LiveJournal anniversary is this year. DATING MYSELF, HOLY COW. I started it as a personal journal, but as I discovered fandom it quickly transformed into my fannish space. It was my one and only fannish identity. All of my fannish activity happened there. And it was awesome. I posted personal things, silly memes, fic, episode discussions. Conversation was easy thanks to comment threads. Getting news and updates was easy thanks to communities. Nowadays I track people so their updates get emailed because otherwise I think I would forget it even existed.

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All of this got me thinking about social media platforms and how they evolve, and what their personalities are. Because they do each have a personality, don’t you think? But like human personalities, they change with age.

I had a MySpace account, back in the day. I wasn’t a college student, so I couldn’t get a Facebook. And then Facebook opened up to the public and I rushed to sign up. LiveJournal was where I connected with my fandom friends, but Facebook became the place I kept my yearbook promises to KIT. My high school friends were scattered all over the globe, but when I logged onto Facebook it felt like we were still sitting at the lunch table, breaking our tacos up with our forks, laughing at what happened in class that day. Now when I log onto Facebook all I see are babies and internet memes that my older relatives are posting. I barely post there anymore. But I still check in, because I like to see what people are up to without actually contacting them to ask. Hashtag lazy, hashtag stalker. (Wait, hashtags aren’t Facebook.)

Don’t ask me what my MySpace login is.

For all that tumblr is a blogging platform, I’ve never used it that way. For me it’s always been more of an archival service. I don’t see how people can have conversations on tumblr, but I know for some it’s their preferred method of interaction. Conversely my preferred method of interaction is currently Twitter, but I know plenty of people that only read their timelines and never respond or tweet anything of their own.

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With Twitter rolling out Facebook-like profiles, it almost seems like it’s replacing, or trying to replace, Facebook as the younger generations #1 method of keeping in touch. But does that mean Twitter will eventually go the way of Facebook, and my mom will be tweeting? (Bad example. My mom doesn’t have a Facebook. My mom just recently mastered texting.)

What do you think? Do different platforms have different personalities? How have they changed? Which things do you use, and for what? Should I resurrect my MySpace page just in case social media is cyclical?

Liz Keysmash
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Liz Keysmash

Liz has a ginger kitty named Thackery Binx who chirps like a bird and plays fetch like a dog. She reads a lot of slash, and writes a bit as well. She thinks she’s a good cook, she brews beer, she's a total nerd about baseball, she reads YA fiction, she has recently rediscovered her love of pop music, she swears like a sailor.
Liz Keysmash
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  • Brie Keysmash

    Remember when Justin Timberlake bought MySpace to…I dunno revolutionize it? Yeeeeeah, I think he forgot too.

    I always forget that tumblr is actually for blogging. I also use it as more of an archive, mostly for pictures and gifs, than actual text posts. I’ve “met” a couple people from tumblr, but for the most part I don’t have conversations on the site. One blog that really made it big through tumblr is The Frenemy. She’s never had a WP or blogger site, she does everything from tumblr, and it’s worked out well for her. I think because it’s simple to just upload some text, and pic a theme without really having to do a lot is a selling point.

    I didn’t get an LJ until I really got into fandom, and even then, I probably only signed up for one in 2010 to be able to read fics that were on friend-only profiles. I never really figured out alerts there, and I started cross-posting some of my FFn fic there, but then tumblr and AO3 got bigger around that time, and I just lost interest in doing just about anything on LJ.

    I do wonder if twitter will become Facebook. I remember a time where I spent SO much time on Facebook. Especially because my university was on the earlier end of getting it, it was a great thing to pass the time senior year of college, and then after that when it expanded to more schools, it was a great way to stalk…I mean keep up with what people you used to know were doing. Plus, then you could see your current boyfriend’s ex girlfriends. What. But now, I rarely go on. I’m lucky if I open it a couple times a week. Meanwhile, I can’t imagine a life off twitter. So, yeah it’ll be interesting to see what happens as time moves forward.

    • Liz Keysmash

      JT totally forgot about MySpace! It looked like it might be an awesome new artist type social media site and then … nothing. Can’t lose a stigma like that, I guess.

      The beauty of something like The Frenemy is that you don’t need to count on responses. That’s the part I really don’t get about tumblr. HOW DO YOU CONVERSE?

      Minus the college part that’s my experience with Facebook and Twitter as well. So what’s next? Where do we migrate once the olds come over from Facebook?

  • ArcadianMaggie

    Yeah, I don’t get tumblr as a blogging platform. I think one of the things that makes it so unappealing, for me, as anything other than an archive or collection of pretty pics is the way the second you put something up, it can easily be reblogged by tons of people and the source effectively gets lost.

    For the most part, I’m almost never looking at the “source” of the content when a blog post is going around. And when people whine and cry about not getting credit for the gifs or pics or posts or whatever, I’m always like, well, what do you expect? It’s tumblr.

    I don’t think I’d ever really want to attach my name to anything on tumblr that I would want to keep “ownership” of, in a manner of speaking (which is why you will NEVER see me posting fic on tumblr). And if I’m likely to engage with anyone on tumblr, it’s likely to be in private fanmail or on anon. It’s not like LJ when you can go private and your retain ~some measure of control over your content (bearing in mind, it’s the internet). I know it’s really designed to spread information widely and quickly, but as for having a conversation, it’s not so great. Tags can only do so much.

    Anyway, you said you wanted to have someone comment on tumblr as a blogging platform and that’s my take. I think, by and large, it sucks as a blogging platform. I mean, yes, there are a few people who make it work, but as a consumer of the content, even their offerings are usually a hodge podge mess.

    • ArcadianMaggie

      Oh, and while I’m at it, I’ll answer more of your questions at the bottom. As an older fandom member, I’ve gone from bbs, to mIRC, to listservs, things like yahoo chat rooms, PeopleLink, etc. FB, forums, LJ, twitter and tumblr (although I never got into MySpace, for whatever reason). Twitter is probably my main hang out now. But I’m sure when that evolves into something more annoying than not (as its more recent changes have hinted at), I’m sure I’ll eventually migrate to the next thing that comes along.

      • Liz Keysmash

        Doesn’t it make you wonder what the next thing will be? Because I thought LJ was /it/, you know? It was everything to me. And I still think it’s one of the better organized platforms out there. Too bad they had so many issues. Imagine if an LJ post was as easy as a Tweet. And you could have all your conversations threaded the way tweets are. BUT WITHOUT A 140 CHARACTER LIMIT. God, it would be glorious.

    • Liz Keysmash

      I’M SO GLAD I’M NOT THE ONLY ONE!

      I’ve done tumblr fic, but it’s always been more to get the juices flowing for something I’m going to post elsewhere. Like people would inbox me silly prompts and I’d write ~500 words for them and tag them and that would be it. But I can’t see having that be the only place I post fic. No way man. Too weird.

  • Nix

    Different platforms definitely have different personalities. And people use them for different things and people (I find) always prefer one over the other. I was late to this whole connecting with people online thing. Aside from email, I kinda felt like joining Facebook would make me vulnerable to the world. And, and… people could spy on me or track me or something. I dunno, I was young and suspicious. I still am. Suspicious, I mean. How one person can see the world through rose tinted glasses and still be suspicious of EVERYTHING AND EVERYONE, I don’t know, but I am. And I digress…

    Um… Where was I? Okay, right. Facebook. MySpace was never really a thing here (here being South Africa). Not that I know of anyway. I kind of get the feeling that by the time we joined the internet bandwagon and people could like, have it in their home, MySpace was already dying a slow death and Facebook was the thing. Like, I never even knew Facebook was ever not available publicly. And also, I went to University to study (shocking). And I’m not being insulting at all. I mean, the crowds at University terrified me, strange people terrified me, classmates terrified me, being social in any way terrified me. This was not the same me who went to High school and started off with straight A’s and slid down the slippery slope of boys and parties and drinking and boys and parties. A thing happened. My brain melted or something and let’s not talk about that. So, come time to go to university I hoped and prayed everyday that no-one would talk to me and I could just be left alone to get my degree and maybe by the time that happened I could actually handle getting a job. I digress again.

    Point is, I wasn’t socialising in real life so why would I want to socialise online? The friends I wanted to keep and who wanted to keep me, I could keep in contact with via texting, and email and sometimes…even letters! No need to put myself ONLINE and become vulnerable to internet monsters.

    And then my best friend got married. And she had moved provinces so we didn’t get to see each other often, but I was a bridesmaid and there were a shit-ton of photos and she said “Well, why don’t you just get Facebook? I’m putting them all there anyway.” She was going to send me a disc with all the thousands of photos on (she did) but that would take a while, while the photos from her and others would go to Facebook almost immediately. I tried to refuse, I really did, but in the end, I gave in.

    I bit the bullet. I got an account, uploaded the photos I had taken, friended her and friended the maid of honour. And then started the friend requests… From some people I was happy to catch up with and from some I had hoped to forever forget about. When my ex-(douchebag)boyfriend’s sister wanted to friend me, I about hit the roof. I mean she was nice enough. But I never, ever want to know what is going on with him and that was too close a connection for me. I feel a little bad for ignoring her request, but, you know, not THAT bad.

    So I was on Facebook and then everyone started on about Twitter and I thought I had never in my life heard of a more ridiculous concept than Twitter and tweeting and wtf anyway? And Twitter was worse than Facebook coz anyone could stalk you there and find out stuff about you and I was sure Twitter was an alias for Big-Brother-Is-Watching… In the end, I got a twitter account because a radio station was running a competition that you could only enter via twitter. I had an account but very little was going on there, and I very seldom checked in on Facebook.

    And then Twilight happened. And I was late to that as well. I saw the movie first coz Sis wanted to and I was like, what. the. hell. An obsessive co-dependant relationship between an old man and a teenager and they “fall in can’t-live-without-you love” like in 5 minutes? No. Just no. And THEN Sis read the book. In like 3 days. And loved it. And let me tell you, Sis doesn’t read. At all. She went through a stage of Danielle Steele, but even then it would be 6 months per book. I tried to get her to read the first Harry Potter and it took her a year and she didn’t even finish. Sis doesn’t read. But she read Twilight in under a week? I had to know… And the rest is history, as is the case with so many people. And then came Breaking Dawn. By the time I had read the first 3 books, Breaking Dawn hadn’t come out yet so I had to wait. Thrilling! And then the fade-to-black, and then the search on the internet, and then fanfiction, and then a search for Quileute mythology (I’m a historian, I had to) and then Ossa Bella and then Twitarded and then I was kinda screwed.

    Twitarded led me to one of my best friends, who is an author (Lori Otto) *cough cough name dropping cough* and who I could only stalk and chat with via email or Twitter. (Lucky for me, she didn’t mind my stalking.) And twitter was easier. The funny thing is, that Lori far prefers Facebook. I far prefer Twitter. All of this led to blogs and Tumblr and now Pinterest and on and on and on. And some Twitter friends have become Facebook friends and some Facebook friends I have met because of books we’re reading, and it’s like this never ending circle of online friendship. Let’s all hold hands and sing Kumbaya together *sigh*.

    It has all become intertwined and mixed up, but at the end of the day, each type of social media has a different personality that is better suited to certain types of activities, and is better suited to certain types of people. I mostly browse and reblog on Tumblr (pretty pictures and porn), keep in touch with old and new friends on Facebook and chat everyday, every damn day, with online turned RL life friends on Twitter. It’s as natural as texting my family at this point. I love my twitter friends and they have become a very important part of my life.

    Each to her own. And it works.

    And this comment kinda ran away with me. I have just had pain pills which make me chatty, so blame that. I think I’ll go ahead and post it on my blog as well, as it’s full of cobwebs right now and needs a little posting.

    Thanks for another great post that made me think thinky thoughts.

    Here, have this.

    P.S. I wonder how many of our online lives were started because of Stephenie Meyer…?

    • Liz Keysmash

      You know it’s funny because so many of my current fandom friends came from the Twilight fandom and I was NEVER in the Twilight fandom. I did laugh out loud at that picture. Very nice. 😉

      To each their own is definitely true. I know of a few people I follow on Twitter who hate LJ and LOVE tumblr as a platform for befriending people.

      *holds hands and signs Kumbaya*

  • Pingback: The Long Road To My Online Life | Read It & Eat()

  • Nicole

    I was pretty anti-FB at the beginning of it – it came out after I graduated college and I was all hipster about it, I guess, thinking I was “too cool” and past it’s appeal, etc.

    But I went to college in New Orleans, so let me tell you how important FB was in the days following Hurricane Katrina. It was (and for me, this is still the crux of its appeal) the single easiest way for me to find my friends and ensure they were ok. I knew where they were, how they were doing and what they needed. We all scattered to various cities across the country and the ones still in school settled at new universities and FB is the thing that brought some normalcy to the whole process.

    Personally, I also lost my dad at the same time. (July/Aug 2005 is pretty much the worst time ever and I get maudlin and ridiculous on the Katrina-versary every year bc holy hell did my life change A LOT) So I had a lot of upheaval and that tenuousness of seeing what the people I was used to having in my day-to-day were doing really helped keep me on an even keel. It was a lifeline.

    Now, I’m a Twitter person pretty hard-core and while I check FB on my phone (after I’ve caught up on my Twitter timeline) while waiting in line and killing time, I’ll find it’s been weeks since I’ve posted something.

    Liz and I were talking about this Tuesday night and I pointed out that I feel like FB is where my mom and other grandmas moved when they stopped forwarding me stupid chain emails.

    • Liz Keysmash

      Our conversation (and the original article I told you about) was what made me want to write this and get other people’s thoughts. Looks like Twitter is the winner so far.

      Facebook served a great purpose, especially for you, but it’s definitely on its way out, I think. At least as the “en vogue” social media platform. Let’s hope Twitter doesn’t try /too/ hard to be like them.

  • Erin

    I refuse to give up on LJ as it is where I can most comfortably;y interact on a fandom-level. I’ll probably be there until it dies. I have a fannish twitter that I’m pretty shitty at maintaining and a personal twitter that I use to keep in touch with RL people and follow news. I deleted my facebook because I dislike FB and I didn’t use it, also didn’t want people I wasn’t friends with in HS friending me for shits and giggles.

    I have a tumblr but, like you, I DON’T UNDERSTAND HOW TO INTERACT on it. I see these threads of people conversing but I just don’t get it! I usually use it to reblog pretty pictures or funny things and that’s about it. There’s no SUBSTANCE to that site for me, I find, and even when I try to post original content and be involved I don’t know HOW.

    I like the ability on LJ to post most stuff public but keep some stuff to a certain group of people or even private. With tumblr and twitter it’s all or nothing, which I find is very limiting with the scope of what I share and thusly why I have two accounts for each site, for different reasons.

    I might have had a MySpace at one time? But I don’t really remember and it was never a big thing with my friends so even if I did have one I never used it. Same with Google+. I tried cause I wanted an alternative to FB and it came about when I was floating in fandom and worried I was going to have to find a new place apart from LJ but LOLOLOLOOLOL we all know how that worked out.

    • Liz Keysmash

      You are one of the people I still track on LJ so I don’t miss stuff!

      Tumblr is an odd beast. I need a younger person to come explain the appeal to me. For now I’ll just be reblogging all the gifs. 😉