I hardly ever go on my Facebook page. While I do use it to keep in touch with family members, friends from college, and colleagues both current and former, I refuse to add anyone from the small town I grew up in. Some of my best friends are from that town, but I still won’t add them. Why? If I add one, the floodgates will open. I’ll get friend requests from people I was never friends with and from old friends I have purposely let fall by the wayside. I don’t want to deal with the stress that would ensue from rejecting those people. (Again, I’m from a very small town. Trust me, tales of my harsh Facebook rejections would travel fast. My mom would call to tell me to add “What’s-Her-Name.”) Also, I’m a nice person so I would feel bad for refusing anyone I don’t have bad blood with. Still, I’m not nice enough to open up my life to those people. I don’t want them to know where I live now, who I’m dating, or even what I plan on doing over the holiday weekend.
There’s no point in them knowing. There’s no point in me bragging. This is where Twitter comes in. That is the point.
As long as I like your feed, I’ll add you on Twitter. I’ll add strangers just like I’ll add people I’ve known my entire life. Why? Twitter allows me to make and keep connections on my own terms. With all of Facebook’s new-ish privacy features, some of you may argue that I can enjoy the same terms there. Nope.
1) Setting all of those intricate privacy settings would give me a headache.
2) People from my real life know that a ton of strangers follow me on Twitter. They wouldn’t put me in danger or jeopardize my privacy by tweeting super personal things. With Facebook, it’s assumed that you know all of the people you list as “Friends.” Consequently, the closest people in my life would be more apt to write things of a more personal nature on my wall. Things I probably wouldn’t want the person who sat behind me in math to know.
3) High school reunions will become obsolete because of Facebook. Let’s be honest, you don’t go to them to rehash memories. Why? Because you already do that with the friends you have remained in contact with. You already have that connection. Everyone goes to their reunions to brag about themselves and see how everyone else turned out. Facebook is the perfect platform for both of those things! You know that most people have probably listed the schools they went to and the places where they’ve worked. You’re even willing to bet that they’ve posted pictures of their house and the vacations they’ve been on. On Twitter, those fields aren’t there and, most likely, neither are those pictures. Twitter just doesn’t lend itself to creeping the same way that Facebook does. All you can tell from my Twitter account is that I love my dogs and that I make one kick-ass watermelon shark!
So, people from my past, this is an open invitation to add me on Twitter. If it turns out that we have a lot in common (from what I can tell by your tweets), maybe I’ll DM you. If that goes well, maybe we can go for coffee the next time I’m home. Maybe I’ll tell you about the things I’ve seen or the things I’m doing. Maybe we’ll be friends. But even then, I still won’t add you on Facebook!
What do you think? Do you prefer to keep your Twitter account a secret from your real-life loved ones? If you add people from your real life, will it change what or how you tweet? Weigh in!