Monday, November 16, 2009

The Panel takes on social networking

Houston Zoo 097

When I pitched this question to The Panel, I figured they’d hate me for this one so I attached the cute picture to the left that has nothing to do with the subject.

If you had to pick one social media outlet (Facebook, Twitter, etc.,) and you could only use it the rest of your life, which would it be?

Answers below the jump:

• Jen: If I had to choose one social networking site to use for the rest of my life I would have to choose Facebook. Ugh. That doesn't make me happy-happy and if another, better site were to pop up, I hope I could then re-evaluate my choice.

I like Twitter in some ways much more than Facebook, especially when it comes to networking or getting the word out. But as an all-around, have fun, dick around, waste time web site, Facebook wins hands down.

Facebook can still do the networking but you are limited to your impact, it does not have the speed of delivery and is hard to keep to a real-time dialogue. But the apps. Cafe World, Mafia Wars and what have you. Yea, you know you've passed that drink round for happy hour. You shed a tear over your virtual pets expiring from lack of care. You got even not mad when you had someone place a hit on you. You spent hours taking them out every time they lifted their heads up. You bought cute outfits for your pet, down to holiday attire and decorations for their houses. Taking quizzes ate up hours, even knowing that the average age of the quiz taker is 13 and the answers correspond to that. What Taylor Swift song are you? Isn't she dating Kanye West? What do we know?

So yes, I pick Facebook over Twitter. Myspace never a contender and if there are others, I don't know them.

• Kristin: If I had to choose between Twitter & Facebook (since Myspace is for the kiddies and the pervs), Twitter wins without a doubt. Facebook makes me dizzy and it brings out my stalker-like tendencies, which is never good. Twitter is faster and more accessible than Facebook, and minus the poking. Although I will say that Facebook has led to some surprise fantastic phone calls.

It's more than that though. In the ten months that I've been on Twitter, I've made some awesome friends and met new people that I may not have met, if it weren't for Twitter. I wouldn't be part the Panel, there would be no #SSH or #SSB and life would be dull and boring. My world has gotten smaller, yet bigger. So its an easy choice. Twitter. That is all.

• Stephanie: How many times do I have to announce that I don't like having to call favorites? I hate it. I hate it, I hate it, I hate it.


I also hate MySpace, with the burning fiery passion of a thousand million suns, so that's seriously right the hell out of this little contest; I have one, but that is a fact I would much rather ignore. Basically, I only ever use Gmail, Facebook, Twitter, and LiveJournal for social-esque stuff...I check Facebook and Twitter compulsively about a million times a day, Gmail and LJ at least twice...I have no life.

And we all know I am a self-hating Twitterer; it is a medium I am annoyed with and perpetually frustrated at, and I am an idiot who does not learn lessons and give up on things that are "bad ideas." Plus, I'm all hell of verbose: I like words. I like words a lot. I like words and writing and communication and typing and text and not having to actually talk to people. But, if I were forced to keep myself to 140 characters, I would probably kill myself. I don't much believe in acronyms or those goddamn internet slangy things. Spelling and grammar are your friends, people. So, really, Twitter is out.

LiveJournal has no ridiculous length limits, but LiveJournal, too, isn't exactly a "social networking" site; most of my "friends" are people I know in real life, and I don't play around in communities. I don't like people, I don't like creepy internet people, and I like pretending I have better things to do (this might be a lie). But I love writing and I love having an audience (oh god the vanity oh god); part of why I used to love journalism was the built-in audience...I've kept journals since I was ten or so, and I've had the online one for, I think, over six years (aw hell). I've been conditioned, and it's not as much fun writing just for myself anymore -- at least not since I realized I hate writing fiction. Creative non-fiction...yes. Mmmmm.

Which leaves us with Facebook: I love Facebook. Love love love love love -- and no, I do not play Farmville or any of those other stupid things. But I love that it lets me backhandedly be "social" while not having to leave the house, I love that people I haven't seen in five years are still vaguely "around" and I love having every picture from everything I have ever been involved with since its inception archived so neatly. I have more friends on Facebook than I even feel comfortable with, and yeah, there are pictures I ought to be a tiny bit ashamed of. But the hell with it; I can be a part of things without having to proactively care, which is really the best gift Mark Zuckerberg ever gave me. Or any of us, I's helped forever change the nature of social interaction both online and off, and it sure did make college that much more interesting.

I'm not picking a favorite. They all have a niche and a purpose and I am desperately, horrifyingly attached to each and every single one. I am but a pawn to the unspeakable force of the interblag, tethered and bound to the circles and networks I hadn't realized were being built around me.

And yes, I do I wish I spent less of my life staring at this screen.

• Mollie Katie: If I could only pick one social media outlet to use for the rest of my life, it would obviously be Twitter. I am addicted. But I'm self-aware, so I think it's okay? Maybe? I'll go with yes!

I quit MySpace because everyone I met there who wasn't my in real life fleshy friend...was a creepy creeper who creeps. And not in the good way! And I quit Facebook because it was too much noise. Being friends with everyone I've ever met since kindergarten, regardless of whether or not we were ever actually friends? It's weird. And being invited to groups and to use applications I had no interest in...was like spam e-mail. All the time! And these people would not take no for an answer! My family, the part of it that I like anyway, is on Facebook, so the only thing keeping me there this past year has been updating my account-less mother and sister with photos of our baby cousins. My mom got her own FB account, so I quit! It feels amazing! Death to Facebook! Death, I say!

Long aside over, I actually like Twitter beyond just the obvious "it's not Facebook" excuse. I know it came out of the status updates on Facebook, but it has formed it's own unique community identity. I've found friendly insomniacs like me, especially in the predominantly conservative "Red Eye with Greg Gutfeld" fan set. I'm a liberal but I like getting both sides of the issues, so my news sources tend to be Jon Stewart, Stephen Colbert, Greg Gutfeld, Bill Schulz, and Andy Levy. Plus the White House correspondents on Twitter. And these interactions have formed the basis of what I feel like are meaningful connections outside of Twitter. E-mails, texts, phone calls. People I feel like I would hang our with in a regular basis if we were all in the same town at the same time. It's how this here project called The Panel was born. I love Twitter. Which is where I will be promoting my latest blog entry on The Panel... And I love you, Tweep who has clicked on over!


Houston was arrested for running around on the Dallas North Tollway naked, so he’s out. The good news is the cops told him it’s a “small” offense.

Michelle clearly still hasn’t gotten the memo that Halloween has passed and she can come in from the graveyard. Someone want to pull her out of there this week for me? Just be sure to take precautions, she bites.

As far as me, I’m skipping because I’m jealous of all the other folks getting to. Yay for setting a bad example!

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