This week, a fascinating hashtag started up on Twitter asking users why they still used Facebook. According to Twitter (when I last checked) 40000 odd tweets had been sent by users asking them why they still used Facebook, and the replies were fascinating, funny, and provided a really interesting insight into what’s happening on and with Facebook.
I kept an eye on the hashtag as it was developing, and saved some of the tweets that I thought were really interesting/insightful/funny. I’ve complied them here, as much for me as for anyone else who is interested.
Firstly, there were an overwhelming number of replies that suggested that they used Facebook mainly to remember birthdays or to ‘snoop’ and ‘stalk’ friends. This, I feel, adds some modicum of validity to my assertion that there is a great disparity between what Facebook users think of as the ‘normal’ or standard Facebook user, and how people actually use Facebook. Or essentially, that Facebook stalking is more common than people think it is, and is perhaps the standard use of Facebook by most users.
Below is a list of some of the public tweet that stood out to me:
#IStillFacebookBecause my family doesn’t need to know my online personality.
[REALLY interesting here that Facebook isn’t considered an ‘online’ personality]
#IStillFacebookBecause I need to maintain my secret identity somehow
#IStillFacebookBecause unlike Twitter you can use your personal photo and nobody is there to judge you because they all know you.
#IStillFacebookBecause it keeps my mom & a few other FB friends away from my Twitter acct. They say “it’s too confusing.”
#IStillFacebookBecause I need to keep my family on Facebook and stop them from moving to Twitter
#IStillFacebookBecause my mom threatened to get a twitter if I don’t communicate with her on fb
#IStillFacebookBecause it’s my public social media face and #IStillTwitterBecause because it’s my private one
#IStillFacebookBecause umm i really dk so ppl wont find out about my twitter?
#IStillFacebookBecause My family can never know what weird crap I say on here!
#IStillFacebookBecause Cuz They Think Im Not On Twitter
#IStillFacebookBecause I’m not letting them follow me on Twitter.
#IStillFacebookBecause I don’t want my family to come find me on other social networks
#IStillFacebookBecause my parents still haven’t figured out how to use it
#IStillFacebookBecause all my imaginary friends are there
#IStillFacebookBecause middle school
#IStillFacebookBecause its the only social media my mom uses.
#IStillFacebookBecause my twitter is to embarrassing to let my friends and family follow me on
#IStillFacebookBecause it’s where I can be the person they like know. On Twitter it’s the person they don’t wanna know.
#IStillFacebookBecause i dont want people to find me here *shhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh*
#IStillFacebookBecause it’s sharing more personal pics and things with close family friends,Twitter more impact on world news and politics
#IStillFacebookBecause my family uses Facebook.
#IStillFacebookBecause I don’t want any of my family to know how to use Twitter
#IStillFacebookBecause that’s where the family is.
#IStillFacebookBecause There’s no way in a million years that I’d ever share my Twitter or Tumblr with most of the people I know in RL.
#IStillFacebookBecause I need a decoy so they don’t come looking for me here
#IStillFacebookBecause I have contacts there that I don’t want anywhere near here.
#IStillFacebookBecause otherwise my family would follow me on all other social media
#IStillFacebookBecause Facebook is for friends and twitter is for music/bands/actors etc.
#IStillFacebookBecause Twitter is my alter ego that no one sees
#IStillFacebookBecause it’s a filtered version of my twitter for people I actually know
#IStillFacebookBecause Facebook is where you’re fake to people you know; Twitter is where you’re honest with strangers.
A lot of this lines up with my latest paper (here – or I can email you a copy if you can’t access Emerald…), in that it suggests that the ‘social’ aspect of Social Networking Sites is not uniform; different sites and apps have different understandings of what it means to be social, with different aims, styles, and goals. the different ‘socials’ of these Social Networking Sites means different audiences, different focuses and temporal approaches (Twitter on the ‘now’ and Facebook on your ‘past’ life), and different actions and interactions.
All this amounts to different identity performances, to different audiences, on different stages. As Goffman suggested, all the world’s a stage for identity performances, and, as with any performance, the staging and the props we have available to us will affect how we can perform. The reaction to the recent changes in twitter, from a ‘favorite’ star to a ‘like’ heart echo this point. All this was basically summed up in amazing fashion by this tweet:
#IStillFacebookBecause I am Bruce Wayne there and Batman here!
Facebook’s definition of ‘social’ means we are grounded in our history and real-life connection, interacting with already established social contacts from our past. Twitter on the other hand defines social in the ‘now’ rather than the past, encouraging interactions based upon shared traits and likes. Or, as one user put it:
#IStillFacebookBecause my Twitter is only for talking shit with complete strangers watch the same tv shows as I do.
There were also a lot along the lines of this:
#IStillFacebookBecause I honestly don’t know why.
#IStillFacebookBecause i actually have no idea
#IStillFacebookBecause I literally have no idea why I still do
#IStillFacebookBecause honestly, I’m not sure anymore. So much bigotry. Sigh.
#IStillFacebookBecause I actually have no good reason to use facebook..
#IStillFacebookBecause that reminds me I need to delete my Facebook account
Read into that what you will. And a lot that suggested that Facebook’s demographic has shifted a fair bit:
#IStillFacebookBecause Im old.
#IStillFacebookBecause I’m in my 40’s. It’s what we do, right?
#IStillFacebookBecause I’m female and 40-something. You can’t fight demographics.
#IStillFacebookBecause my aunts and uncles (really old ones) contact me thru its messenger feature
#IStillFacebookBecause there’s no way in hell I want my mother joining Twitter
#IStillFacebookBecause I can stalk my ex-boyfriends from middle school and my grandmother in the same place.
#IStillFacebookBecause I want to feel like it’s still 2006
#IStillFacebookBecause if I don’t, #KONY2012 will win.
#IStillFacebookBecause my mum doesn’t have twitter.
And there were others that I liked a lot for various reasons:
#IStillFacebookBecause my fingers automatically type “faceb” on the search bar when I’m browsing the net
#IStillFacebookBecause I like the internet.
[I choose to read this as a positive thing, and read it far deeper than it was probably intended!]
#IStillFacebookBecause everybody else does #FOMO
#IStillFacebookBecause 28 Reasons I Still Facebook Will Leave You Stunned Must Read Click Here
#IStillFacebookBecause Trap. Outlet
#IStillFacebookBecause otherwise how would I know when to fall back or spring ahead my clock?
#IStillFacebookBecause facebook is 45% of my life
#IStillFacebookBecause Its the only way i can stay in touch with family
#IStillFacebookBecause I like my news two days late.
#IStillFacebookBecause it helps me poop
You can check the entire hashtag out here for yourself. Let me know below if you find any you think are interesting!