Twitter Vs Facebook; the Cage Match

As I have said before, I am active on Twitter and on Facebook. On Twitter I have two accounts because, well, essentially I live in two unique worlds. One world that I live in involves babies, poopy diapers, naps, sleepless nights and the occassional theatre or restaurant visit. You can find and follow me around on Twitter at  Papastacey.

The other world I live and write in is the world of politics. Occasionally the worlds overlap when a politician who is full of shit opens his or her mouth and spills their shit. Shit from politicians, shit from babies…same shit, different diaper. You can find me on Twitter for politics at theleftcoastca.

At any rate, combined I have some 600 Twitter followers. That is not a significant number of followers in the Twitterverse, regardless, it is some 600 followers. Of course the numbers of followers goes up and down. When I tweet about feeding my babies cocktail sauce, it goes down. When I tweet about the HST being a massive tax shift to the poor working slob, my followers increase.

On Facebook I have a pretty stable 185 friends. To be my friend on Facebook at some point we have to have sat at the same table and broken bread together. All my Facebook friends are people like this, except for one guy named Noel who I accidentally clicked to accept his friend request and am too embarrassed to “unfriend” him.

Awhile ago I asked the question into the Twitterverse, “What is a good local web-hosting company?” And I received one response.  That’s odd, I said to myself. Hmmm…Time for a social media experiment.

So I posted the question on Twitter, “Does anybody else have a baby or two that literally eats books? Our twins are devouring our collection of kids books. Anybody else?” Of course I tweeted this into the world of poopy diapers section. And the response from Twitter? I had an interesting couple of tweets from one person. One person out of 600 followers responded.

Then I thought, well maybe it is because the subject matter wasn’t suited to the vast majority of my Twitter followers. So I posted another question about buying a camera and asking for advice. No response…well actually one “follower” sent me a link to a site that sells a different kind of camera than I was looking for. That was it.

So what about my 185 friends on Facebook? To the babies eating books question I received 21 responses. People offering advice (appreciated advice as well) and people saying their kids did the same thing or people saying that m,y babies are just weird. 21 responses.

For the camera question on Facebook I received four or five thoughtful responses that offered quality to the conversation.

My deductions from this social media experiment? Twitter is for shouting out information. There is no conversation or engagement between individuals. It is one person shouting at the top of their lungs and not listening to a word that anyone else is saying. 

Facebook, on the other hand, is for connections with real life friends. It is about engagement in a myriad of conversations with any number of friends.

I have heard it said before that the people you follow on Twitter are people you would like to be friends with and people on Facebook are your real life friends. I’m no longer so sure I want to be friends with the people I follow on Twitter while I know that I am friends with my Facebook friends…except for that Noel guy.





5 responses to “Twitter Vs Facebook; the Cage Match”

  1. caitlyn James Avatar


    Hi, It’s Noel. I met you through my sister’s girlfriend’s mother who used to go to school with your mother. I thought we were friends. We shared a pint. Our families are practically related.

    I’ve been following you on twitter, facebook, and both your websites because, well, I think you’re great, and I thought we were friends.


  2. Anthony Avatar

    I commented on Twitter, but rather than have those comments get lost to the unsympathetic ether:

    I disagree with your conclusion, despite the results of your experiments.

    Unfortunately Twitter suffers from a critical mass problem. In order to get good feedback, good conversations, you have to have a big enough group of followers interested in the subject. Then you have to catch them at the right time. If you don’t Tweet at the “right” time, your followers may not notice your Tweet amongst the stream of everyone else. And then there’s the 140 limit.

    The other point is that your FB friends are _friends_, where I bet most of your Twitter followers are strangers.

    Would you normally expect more feedback from strangers vs friends?

    A Stranger Caught at the Right Time.

  3. stacey Avatar

    Hi Anthony,

    I appreciate the valid comments you have added. To further “prove” your point, this morning, as usual, I had Twitter open. I was reading tweets/comments as they came in and then I got up to get a coffee. When I sat back down I saw the notice at the top of the page said I had received 49 new tweets in the time that I had walked to the coffee pot, poured a cup and walked back.

    Did someone ask a question that I could have responded to in that time? I will likely never know.

    And finally, I really did not mean to condemn Twitter. I just came to a realization about the flaws inherent in having hundreds or even thousands of followers.

    Overall, a great big thank you for adding your thoughts!

  4. Wendy Avatar

    I’m not sure I should qualify as a facebook friend, never having broken bread with you.. 😉 Met you? Yes..we can break bread on Saturday if you guys are coming to the picnic too!

    I don’t quite get the allure of twitter, but I’m a facebook addict!

  5. stacey Avatar

    Hey Wendy,
    Twitter is an amazing source of information and I frequently hear things on Twitter before they hit the mainstream media.
    I look forward to seeing you and all the little ones at the picnic on Saturday.