“Social media” is a phrase that you’re just as likely to hear in a middle school classroom as you are in a corporate boardroom. It has virtually taken over the world, with some social media sites hosting presidential debates and others forming the basis for blockbuster movies. Nearly everyone in the western world has some form of social media profile, whether it be a Facebook page or Twitter feed (among many others), and many people have more than one.

Even for those who don’t have some sort of social media presence, both Facebook and Twitter are common household names, and the surge in their popularity has only happened within the last decade. Today people have a “favorite” social media site that they use for everything from reading the news to keeping up with distant friends or even to keep a sort of virtual diary, so the question arises- which social network is better for these things?

Facebook- the Pros

Before Facebook, there was MySpace, and before that… there really wasn’t much of anything at all in terms of social media. Facebook surpassed MySpace’s level of popularity, though, by making the whole social media concept more accessible to a wider audience. It’s incredibly easy to use, runs great on any internet-capable device, and is constantly evolving to provide a better experience for its users. Everyone and their grandmother (literally) has a Facebook page, which makes it easy to connect with almost everyone you meet on a daily basis.

Facebook- the Cons

With all of that being said, there can be too much of a good thing. Thanks to Facebook’s rampant popularity, it’s becoming a haven for advertisers and “click-bait” marketers, and it’s become less about connecting with people and more about sharing strangers’ content. Before memes were a thing and before “viral” pertained to anything good, Facebook was a much better place. Now, communication is on the back burner and finding the latest funny video to hit the net has become the main focus.

Twitter- the Pros

Twitter is, and always will be, a pop culture staple. In our old age we will all remember Facebook, yes, but we can’t forget that Twitter was responsible for hashtags and for making “tweet” a verb that makes total sense when used outside of ornithological conventions. Twitter forces you to condense your thoughts into a limited amount of characters, which makes gathering information a much more fast-paced and intuitive process when compared with Facebook’s drawn out posts. In the modern age of short attention spans, Twitter is king.

Twitter- the Cons

The reason Twitter doesn’t reach wider demographics than Facebook is because it’s not as accessible and not as personable. On Facebook, you can make a page that’s your own; one that lists your favorite movies and musicians; one that has a clear place to view all of your favorite pictures; one that shares your memories and shows off your significant others. Twitter is short, sweet and to the point, which is a turnoff for many, even with our shortened attention spans.

The Verdict

Facebook is more about carving out your own personal corner of the Internet. Twitter is really more about following, while Facebook attempts to connect you with other people. Just look at it this way- people who can see your Twitter feed are called “followers,” while people who can see your Facebook page are called “friends.” So it really comes down to your personal preferences… However, both Twitter and Facebook and considered to be two of the largest currently available. Whilst they do differ, answering which is better really depends on personal preference. For example, Twitter is less intrusive and hasn’t really got the privacy issues that Facebook does. Twitter seems to offer a more professional approach, making it perfect for writers, journalists, music artists, etc. So, with that said, which do you prefer? Leave your favourite in the comment section further down.

so·cial net·work

noun

  1. a network of social interactions and personal relationships.
  2. a dedicated website or other application that enables users to communicate with each other by posting information, comments, messages, images, etc.