Riding the Social Media Wave

by Sam on June 3, 2009

 

waveSometimes I get totally overwhelmed by the number of social media sites out there. I definitely have some profiles and pages that have gone neglected, and some I forget about for a while until they randomly catch my attention again. It’s interesting to observe how the popularity of these sites, and our interest in them, rises and falls over time. We are riding the social media wave

Facebook was my first social networking obsession. I think I dabled in MySpace in high school, but I wasn’t too invested. My freshman year of college was when Facebook first started to take off, and then spread like wildfire. It was all the rage. New words were created (facebook: (v.) the act of looking someone up on Facebook. ex: I’ll facebook you later), and words that already existed took on new meanings (poke: (v.)  an action on Facebook which allows users to digitally stick a finger in the ribs of their friends, a sign of affection and friendship.)  I’ll admit, I was a Facebook addict. 

Though I still use Facebook regularly, it’s not the same anymore.  I mostly use it to play Scrabble (anyone up for a word battle?), to post and look at photos, and keep tabs on friends and acquaintances. Sorry Facebook, but you’ve been replaced…by a bird. Yep, Twitter is my #1 now.  I feel like I could be in one of those Swiffer commercials where the broom starts singing “baby, come back…” but, the broom would be Facebook. Okay, maybe it’s not that dramatic. As I said, I haven’t ditched Facebook completely, but Twitter is new and shiny, and constantly finding more ways to impress me. 

I came across this article the other day that asks a very important question: Can Twitter’s Growth Continue? We all know about the staggering growth rate the site has experienced, but can they keep it up? A potential stumbling block pointed out by the author of this article, is the lack of interest in Twitter among teenagers. Setting records for thumb speed, this group is all about text messaging, and Facebook is still their network of choice. Personally, I don’t think Twitter needs teenagers to succeed. In fact, one of the great things about Twitter is that there’s legitimate discussion going on, valuable thought sharing, and respect is shown to differing opinions.  It definitely wouldn’t be the same if you threw teenagers into the mix.

It’s also pretty obvious that GenY is a major force in the Twitter community. We have our own networks,  Brazen Careerist and 20 something bloggers, where we can integrate our tweets, and the support among GenYers is apparent on the Twitter feeds. 

So, I’m curious, what has your ride on the social media wave been like? What affects your/my/our level of interest or disinterest in these sites? Do you think Twitter needs teenagers to continue succeeding? Are there any up and coming sites that could eventually give Twitter some serious competition? 

Shamless Plug: If you’re on any of these wonderful networking sites and we haven’t connected yet, look over in the sidebar for links to all of my pages.

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  • http://www.targetstarsblog.com/ LaTosha Johnson

    Sam, Great post! This post could not have come at a better time. I honestly get exhausted even thinking about all the social networking sites out there. However, Twitter has a special place in my heart too. Not just because it is new, but I love to interact with people and Twitter allows you to do so instantly as opposed to the other social networking sites. I don’t think Twitter needs teenagers to survive. I have a feeling more and more Facebook users will be converting over to Twitter. I’m addicted to Twitter!

  • http://www.targetstarsblog.com/ LaTosha Johnson

    Sam,

    Great post! This post could not have come at a better time. I honestly get exhausted even thinking about all the social networking sites out there. However, Twitter has a special place in my heart too. Not just because it is new, but I love to interact with people and Twitter allows you to do so instantly as opposed to the other social networking sites. I don’t think Twitter needs teenagers to survive. I have a feeling more and more Facebook users will be converting over to Twitter. I’m addicted to Twitter!

  • http://www.lifeschocolates.com/ sameve

    LaTosha, it's nice to know that I'm not the only one getting overwhelmed! I totally agree, Twitter is great for instantaneous interaction. It really keeps the conversation going that way. Hopefully you're right and more Facebook users will make the switch. Don't worry, I'm addicted to Twitter too, and I know we're not alone! Thanks for stopping by!

  • http://www.lifeschocolates.com sameve

    LaTosha, it's nice to know that I'm not the only one getting overwhelmed! I totally agree, Twitter is great for instantaneous interaction. It really keeps the conversation going that way. Hopefully you're right and more Facebook users will make the switch. Don't worry, I'm addicted to Twitter too, and I know we're not alone! Thanks for stopping by!

  • http://www.lifewithoutpants.com/ Matthew

    Twitter is sort of the anomaly of social networks – it isn't fueled by one specific generation or demographic. You've got your teenagers talking about the Jonas brothers, but you also have big businesses looking to get 'back to basics' and connect with their consumers. Twitters appeal is far and wide, but the theme is the same – CONNECTIVITY. Twitter allows people to intimately connect in such a simple way from all walks of life from all over the world. It lets you pick and choose the conversations you want to be involved in – it's a great learning tool, great to use as a writer through monitoring trending topics and seeing what's popular. It's all at your fingertips. Yes, it will evolve, the next big thing will undoubtedly come along, but I see social media as only continuing to improve and becoming more and more integrated into our everyday lives.

  • http://www.lifewithoutpants.com Matthew

    Twitter is sort of the anomaly of social networks – it isn't fueled by one specific generation or demographic. You've got your teenagers talking about the Jonas brothers, but you also have big businesses looking to get 'back to basics' and connect with their consumers. Twitters appeal is far and wide, but the theme is the same – CONNECTIVITY. Twitter allows people to intimately connect in such a simple way from all walks of life from all over the world. It lets you pick and choose the conversations you want to be involved in – it's a great learning tool, great to use as a writer through monitoring trending topics and seeing what's popular. It's all at your fingertips. Yes, it will evolve, the next big thing will undoubtedly come along, but I see social media as only continuing to improve and becoming more and more integrated into our everyday lives.

  • http://www.lifeschocolates.com/ sameve

    Matt, I always enjoy your insight. You make a very good point. Twitter isn't fueled by any specific generation or demographic. The Twitter community is diverse in a number of ways, and that's one of the things that makes it so great and so appealing to people. I agree, social media will continue to evolve and improve, and I can't wait to see where it goes in the future.

  • http://www.lifeschocolates.com sameve

    Matt, I always enjoy your insight. You make a very good point. Twitter isn't fueled by any specific generation or demographic. The Twitter community is diverse in a number of ways, and that's one of the things that makes it so great and so appealing to people. I agree, social media will continue to evolve and improve, and I can't wait to see where it goes in the future.

  • http://www.smallhandsbigideas.blogspot.com/ Grace Boyle

    I love this (and the image) so cute, did you make it? It is such an up and down wave, especially because it's changing so much!Facebook is still my number one (then Twitter, close second) mostly because all my friends (100% of them) are on FB. Especially the college ones. I can now trust that it's easy to look up anyone on Facebook and I still regularly use it for photos and connecting with old friends. Twitter has less of my friends and more of my other friends that I've connected with online or through similar networks that we're in. Twitter also is used for 1-2 things, while Facebook allows you to do everything. I guess I just went off on FB, but more or less, it reflects my thoughts :) Thanks for sharing and great idea!

  • http://www.smallhandsbigideas.blogspot.com Grace Boyle

    I love this (and the image) so cute, did you make it? It is such an up and down wave, especially because it's changing so much!

    Facebook is still my number one (then Twitter, close second) mostly because all my friends (100% of them) are on FB. Especially the college ones. I can now trust that it's easy to look up anyone on Facebook and I still regularly use it for photos and connecting with old friends. Twitter has less of my friends and more of my other friends that I've connected with online or through similar networks that we're in. Twitter also is used for 1-2 things, while Facebook allows you to do everything. I guess I just went off on FB, but more or less, it reflects my thoughts :) Thanks for sharing and great idea!

  • http://www.lifeschocolates.com/ sameve

    Grace: Yes, the image is a Sam original haha. I'm glad you like it :) Very interesting what you say about Facebook, and I actually have similar reasons for why I still use it. Everyone I know is on there, and whether I need to know someone's address, birthday, or just want to see what they've been up to, Facebook is still where I go. That said, I like that Twitter doesn't have as many features as Facebook. The simple concept behind it is part of its charm. Thanks for your comments!

  • http://www.lifeschocolates.com sameve

    Grace: Yes, the image is a Sam original haha. I'm glad you like it :) Very interesting what you say about Facebook, and I actually have similar reasons for why I still use it. Everyone I know is on there, and whether I need to know someone's address, birthday, or just want to see what they've been up to, Facebook is still where I go. That said, I like that Twitter doesn't have as many features as Facebook. The simple concept behind it is part of its charm. Thanks for your comments!

  • http://akhilak.com/blog Akhila

    Agreed, cute picture ;) HahaBut this is a great post, and I totally agree with you – Twitter has replaced Facebook as my number one, but it's because I get a LOT more value out of Twitter. People who say use twitter for networking aren't joking! I've had so many opportunities come up via twitter: information for my senior thesis, people offering me opportunities to blog at their sites, and people offering me valuable career and life advice. These are meaningful conversations that I don't have on facebook. Facebook's good for keeping in touch with my friends but I don't look at it like a networking tool at all. Twitter is, and it helps me learn and keep up to date with all the latest news at the same time. It's amazing, and I'm addicted! But at some point I wonder if Twitter will die out….like Myspace has gotten old but it still has that teenage demographic that uses it. But like Matt said, users of ALL ages use Twitter so maybe it will have a longer life. We can't be sure, but I sure hope it sticks around!

  • http://akhilak.com/blog Akhila

    Agreed, cute picture ;) Haha

    But this is a great post, and I totally agree with you – Twitter has replaced Facebook as my number one, but it's because I get a LOT more value out of Twitter. People who say use twitter for networking aren't joking! I've had so many opportunities come up via twitter: information for my senior thesis, people offering me opportunities to blog at their sites, and people offering me valuable career and life advice. These are meaningful conversations that I don't have on facebook. Facebook's good for keeping in touch with my friends but I don't look at it like a networking tool at all. Twitter is, and it helps me learn and keep up to date with all the latest news at the same time. It's amazing, and I'm addicted!

    But at some point I wonder if Twitter will die out….like Myspace has gotten old but it still has that teenage demographic that uses it. But like Matt said, users of ALL ages use Twitter so maybe it will have a longer life. We can't be sure, but I sure hope it sticks around!

  • http://www.lifeschocolates.com/ sameve

    Haha, thanks! Who knew my “art” would be so well received? :) It's interesting to hear about your experiences with Twitter, and I'm glad it's been so beneficial for you. I think the point you make about networking is a great one. Although Facebook is also a social network, it's more about connecting with friends and people we already know. Twitter provides so many opportunities for new connections. I hope it sticks around for a long time too. Thanks for your comments, Akhila!

  • http://www.lifeschocolates.com sameve

    Haha, thanks! Who knew my “art” would be so well received? :) It's interesting to hear about your experiences with Twitter, and I'm glad it's been so beneficial for you. I think the point you make about networking is a great one. Although Facebook is also a social network, it's more about connecting with friends and people we already know. Twitter provides so many opportunities for new connections. I hope it sticks around for a long time too. Thanks for your comments, Akhila!

  • http://akhilak.com/blog Akhila

    Agreed, cute picture ;) Haha

    But this is a great post, and I totally agree with you – Twitter has replaced Facebook as my number one, but it's because I get a LOT more value out of Twitter. People who say use twitter for networking aren't joking! I've had so many opportunities come up via twitter: information for my senior thesis, people offering me opportunities to blog at their sites, and people offering me valuable career and life advice. These are meaningful conversations that I don't have on facebook. Facebook's good for keeping in touch with my friends but I don't look at it like a networking tool at all. Twitter is, and it helps me learn and keep up to date with all the latest news at the same time. It's amazing, and I'm addicted!

    But at some point I wonder if Twitter will die out….like Myspace has gotten old but it still has that teenage demographic that uses it. But like Matt said, users of ALL ages use Twitter so maybe it will have a longer life. We can't be sure, but I sure hope it sticks around!

  • http://www.lifeschocolates.com sameve

    Haha, thanks! Who knew my “art” would be so well received? :) It's interesting to hear about your experiences with Twitter, and I'm glad it's been so beneficial for you. I think the point you make about networking is a great one. Although Facebook is also a social network, it's more about connecting with friends and people we already know. Twitter provides so many opportunities for new connections. I hope it sticks around for a long time too. Thanks for your comments, Akhila!

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