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Twitter is just pointless babble and Facebook ruins your friendships – our lives reflected in Social Media

August 31, 2009
Image representing Twitter as depicted in Crun...
Image via CrunchBase

To Continue the discussion and Ideas that developed in my post from 2 days ago about ‘Facebook as the Freindship killer app’, I just read Danah Boyd’s post about Twitter as an aggregator of ‘pointless babble’. The marvelous Boyd makes the point that sites such as Twitter and Facebook are our online identities, and just like in real life, not everything we think and say is ‘meaningful news’:

“Studies like this one by Pear Analytics drive me batty. They concluded that 40.55% of the tweets they coded are pointless babble; 37.55% are conversational; 8.7% have “pass along value”; 5.85% are self-promotional; 3.75% are spam; and ::gasp:: only 3.6% are news. I challenge each and every one of you to record every utterance that comes out of your mouth (and that of everyone you interact with) for an entire day. And then record every facial expression and gesture. You will most likely find what communications scholars found long ago – people are social creatures and a whole lot of what they express is phatic communication. (Phatic expressions do social work rather than conveying information… think “Hi” or “Thank you”.) . Now, turn all of your utterances over to an analytics firm so that they can code everything that you’ve said. I think that you’ll be lucky if only 40% of what you say constitutes “pointless babble” to a third party ear.”

Your linkedin profile is not just your resume, your Facebook profile is not just your photo with contact information, and twitter is not just news. These are well layered personal and professional dimensions, it’s your entire identity. Let’s me correct myself – it is your opportunity to create your online identity.

“We like the fact that humans are social. It’s good for society. And what they’re doing online is fundamentally a mix of social grooming and maintaining peripheral social awareness. They want to know what the people around them are thinking and doing and feeling”

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