Being as “connected” as I am, I’ve worked with many social networks for personal reasons, business or both. And, the longer I float around the Net, the more I realize how differently people use each medium.
If you’ve skipped around the web as much as I have, you can’t help but notice some trends. Of course, there are always exceptions to every rule, but for the most part, each has its own unique feel.
Facebook users are a mishmash of all types of users, from the angsty teens to grandparents who think every picture of a baby or unicorn is as precious as pie. Still, people try to remain somewhat tame with their comments and keep the really juicy stuff that will lose “friends” to a minimum. When really riled, Facebook users have a tendency to rely on the good, old-fashioned, rambling, passive-aggressive status updates which are supposed to be general observations or thoughts, but are really thinly-veiled “Yo’ mamas” targeted at a very specific reader (the ol’ “you know who you are”):
I’m so sick of all the haters sticking their noses in other people’s business. Only the people who really love me know me. I don’t care what anyone else thinks anyway. OMG! Some people need to get their own lives and stay out of mine!
Twitter’s gift is how concise it forces users to be. You have no choice but to get to the point or your tweets won’t make any sense. The folks who love to rattle away on Facebook LOATHE Twitter, because they just can’t get their ramble on properly. While Twitter also boasts a wide spectrum of users, many still fear it, so it’s not quite as diverse as the Facebook crowd. There are basically three types of users: those stalking celebrities, those trying to promote their blogs or businesses, and those who are trying to find others with similar interests so they can chat about the celebrities they’re stalking using a hashtag:
OMG! Did you see the picture @JustinBieber’s mom posted on FB? He totally swooped his hair the other way. So adorbs! #BelieberForever
Tumblr is a saucy mix of social network and blogging platform. Posts are usually short and often trendier than most blogs. Users are generally in their 20s and 30s and enjoy the simple, carefree air around the community. There’s less pressure to write a long, drawn-out blog post and snap perfectly executed, staged photos of your toddler painting a masterpiece in your Mommy and Me ceramics class. With the help of Instagram, a quick candid and short blurb says everything you need to say:
(Insert hilarious photo of baby painting the fridge with peanut butter — at least we hope it’s peanut butter)
Hey, even Picasso started somewhere. Fortunately, HE didn’t choose my new Frigidaire as his first canvas. Unfortunately, I can’t say the same for Dylan. LOL
This is where we (read: Internet Moms) go to unwind and plan all the glorious things we’d do if our real lives ever allowed us the time to actually redecorate our double mortgages, make charts for everything from our homemade cleaning supplies to what’s in every eerily, perfectly organized waterproof tote in our attics, dress like hip celeb moms whom actually have the cash to rock some serious casual chic (and hire nannies so their stylish duds don’t wind up with boogers and jam on them), and get to the gym every day after our early morning kaleberry protein smoothies. It’s a happy place, and we like it that way. We can gaze adoringly at everything in our pinned-up utopias and daydream between feedings and soccer practices. Comments on pins are polite and lighthearted:
I love this mason jar filled with lemons and homegrown mint sprigs. Such a fresh look and my house smells fantastic.
And then….there’s YouTube.
YouTube is where the youngin’s hang out. While many generations actually post the videos for whatever their specific purposes, be they business or pleasure, it’s the kids who offer the real juice…the completely socially-uncouth, ridiculously unfiltered commentary. You can almost smell the funk of zit cream in the air when you read their comments, which are laced with obscenities, unfiltered sexual innuendo, creepy, inappropriate proclamations of undying devotion, or all of the above:
*Drooling* OMG!!!! You’re so #&^%@* talented and your British accent is @$%!@ delicious. Seriously, I’d literally eat you alive. I hope you come to the US soon, because I’m totally in love with you and would do anything to meet you in person. Post another vid ASAP!
*BTW…to the little misses who post comments like this, you’re making all American women look like horned-up, idiot stalkers. Stop it. Someday you’ll not only be mortified at your past behavior, but be terrified your kid will do the same thing. Trust.*
If there’s anything I’ve learned from my travels around the Internet, it’s this: There’s somewhere for everybody. Cross over at your own risk.