Facebook v. Twitter

At the end of a long day filled with classes, the first thing many students do is go back to their dorms, apartments, or houses, and log onto the computer.

Instead of checking up on Buzzport or T-Square, students take refuge on their or accounts. Facebook, the highly addictive social networking site, is used for just about anything—Facebook chat with friends, even if they live right down the hall, relentless poking wars, and random quiz taking.

Twitter is also a social network that lets users send and read messages, or “tweets”. Your “tweets” are uploaded on your profile page, and then delivered to your “followers”. Twitter has gotten so popular, that even the Georgia Tech Police Department has their very own profile.

While both are wildly admired, which one rules campus? Is it Facebook, or is it Twitter, because it allows users to give a quick status update and then move on with their lives?

Both sites are great social networking devices, but the battle between them must be investigated here on campus.

“I prefer Facebook, because Twitter is nothing but status updates…it’s just Facebook without all the other stuff you can do with it. It’s not as well connected and held together like Facebook is. Also, getting and sending bumper stickers is great,” said Chris Mays, a third- year AE.

When asked which would last longer, Facebook or Twitter Mays said, “Facebook…I think the majority of the people would prefer to use it. It’s more consistent.”

Elsewhere on campus, there seems to be more Twitter bashing.

“I prefer Facebook, because you can actually talk to people on it. I like Facebook chat, even though it shuts down all the time” said Molly Degenhardt, a first-year undeclared IAC. “I think Facebook will stay longer than Twitter, because Twitter just seems like a fad.”

Greyson Jarvis, a fourth- year PTFE, also believes Facebook trumps “tweeting.”

“I like Facebook…I don’t know, I feel anti-Twitter. Facebook will last longer, because there seems to be an anti-Twitter sentiment. I don’t think it’s going to catch on as much (as Facebook).”

Some students saw the positives and negatives in both networking websites, such as Andrew Barth, a first-year BME.

“I like Facebook more…I don’t really do much of the status updates, which is what Twitter is—a play-by-play of your life,” said Barth.

He also said that while “Twitter is easier to use,” Facebook is better for communication purposes. “Facebook is easier to connect with people over Twitter. Twitter is more username, while Facebook is more ‘actual’ name.”

Others on campus see Facebook as the more fun social networking site.

Christian Doetsch, a second-year CS, said “I prefer Facebook. There are more features to do things. And more applications, like the graffiti wall. And you can poke people. Facebook is better for communication…it has different networks, groups and applications. For the sake of it, Twitter is easier to use. It’s simpler for older people!”

While many students praise Facebook, others argue that Twitter also has something to offer for mass communication and networking.

“I like using Twitter because it is multifunctional,” said Umehani Dalal, EE ’08.

“I follow friends to keep up with their lives and what they are up to which is incredibly useful now that we have graduated and are in different parts of the country/world. I also follow CNN, WSJ and AJC, etc. to keep up with the news. And, my guilty pleasure, I also follow celebrities like John Mayer and Oprah to see what they are up to and hear their thoughts.”

Just like Facebook, you can connect with people with similar interests, but with Twitter, you can also “follow” your interests and follow the “tweets” of your favorite businesses and artists.

“You can also follow people that share interests similar to yours, like garyvee, who always has something insightful to say about wine. Or you can follow your favorite store to see when they have sales and specials,” Dalal said about Twitter.

There are other advantages to Twitter that outshine Facebook.

“I don’t have a data plan on my phone, so I can’t browse the web from anywhere and everywhere. What I like about Twitter is that you can “tweet” via text messaging and also keep up with other people’s tweets via text messaging. So this way as long as I have my phone I can keep up with everyone,” said Dalal.

“The other thing I really like about Twitter is that you can follow someone without having them follow you which is what sets Twitter apart from Facebook,” Dalal said.

All in all, both networking sites are great for communication around campus.

However, it seems that at Georgia Tech, Facebook is the preferred Internet site. Twitter advertises that one can “share and discover what’s happening right now, anywhere in the world.”

Unfortunately, many Tech students see Twitter as too simplistic or just a fad that’s on the verge of dying out and many feel that it is not as useflu of a tool to stay connected with groups of friends.

While Twitter does have some perks, such as quick, to the point status updates, Georgia Tech students like the sheer versatility and multitude of applications, features, chat and photos of Facebook. And of course, who doesn’t love a good ‘poking’ war?

Even though Facebook is more complex than Twitter, users agree that it is a great connection tool, because it allows a more hands-on approach, allowing users to create their own ‘space’ and maintain network outreach through hundreds of add-ons and applications.

Only time will tell which networking tool will reign supreme over the other.

It is no secret that Twitter and Facebook will each have a spot on campus, as they both have unique qualities for communication, networking and fun.