Confession: Cheating on Facebook. Seeing Twitter on the Side.
We need to talk. I have a confession. This is hard for me to say, so I’ll just spit it out. I’ve been seeing another social network on the side. Its name is Twitter. I didn’t plan to stray. It just sort of happened.
I will tell you everything, but please, hear me out before jumping to conclusions.
Our relationship started out innocently enough. I met Twitter many years ago, about the same time I met you. I opened an account to see what it was all about. I was not an instant fan. I only visited a couple of times a month. It seemed very random. Few of my friends and acquaintances used it. People followed until I followed back, then unfollowed. There was no commitment as there was on Facebook. This wasn’t the place I wanted to settle down in at that time in my life. I spent the early years of my social network life with you Facebook; where everybody knew my name. Twitter was just a passing fling.
As my commitment to you deepened, I didn’t think I could ever have feelings for another social network. You gave me things I didn’t get from Twitter. You were dependable and had given me access to my family and friends–all in one place. You even connected me with long-lost friends who I never thought I’d see again. You knew me intimately through my photos, my interests, my rants and raves, and cute quotes from my kids. Twitter could care less about my kids. You gave me snapshot of my life for the past 6 years–in an impressively organized Timeline. It was hard for me to stay away from you, even for one day. You’ve been my constant. My rock.
Twitter and I started spending more time together because of work. It helped me advance my career and get my blog noticed. It introduced me to the movers and shakers in my industry. It gave me access to breaking news before I could read it on CNN. Over time, Twitter’s steady stream of 140 character lyrics hypnotized me—promising to show me new things and take me to new places. We talked and talked; but never about kids, housework, and what to eat for dinner. We were hot. Others felt the heat and followed daily. I had my own private paparazzi. It felt like an illicit romance.
Not many of my friends liked Twitter so it remained my dirty little secret. Publicly I was with you Facebook. Privately, my secret affair with Twitter was one I felt ashamed to share with my closest friends. I was tempted by the social candy. I was weak and helpless to its charms. I’m only human you know.
Twitter did not make me feel guilty for unfollowing others that weren’t my style. On Facebook, unfriending someone caused so much guilt and stress. Twitter was laid back, no pressure, and let me get in touch with my carefree side. It was my friend with benefits.
Twitter wasn’t as demanding as you were Facebook. It didn’t exploit my interests and sell me out to impress the suits on Wall Street. It didn’t manipulate my friends by making them think I liked things I didn’t. It didn’t constantly want me to play games; harass me with app requests. It respected me by laying it all out on the line. We had a completely transparent relationship.
Facebook, when we’re together I feel like I always have to watch my back; double-checking to make sure the intimate details of our life together stayed private. You held my newsfeed hostage, tried to restrict my choices and control what I saw. You want to know what I “Like”, but you refuse to let me express what I “Don’t Like.” It it’s been hard maintaining our relationship because you keep changing. Some days, I’m not sure who I’m going to wake next to.
One thing Twitter did not force on me was the annoying cat memes. I know you think you know me, but did you know that I’m allergic to cats? I don’t find them endearing like the rest of the Internet. My head begins to swell just by seeing them in my newsfeed. I can’t hide them fast enough. Why could you not restrict the cats? Why? Why!
You must feel you’ve been “double-crossed” by a hashtag. Rumor has it you are planning to bring hashtags to Facebook. I know you are hurting, but you don’t have to change to win me back. I appreciate you working so hard to make our relationship work. I want to try to make it work too.
There are so many things I love about you, but my feelings for Twitter are complicated. I don’t want to leave you. Not really. I just want an open relationship. We’re different then we were when we first met. Maybe over time you’ll be able to accept that our lives have evolved. What do you say? Can we give it a shot?