One hundred forty characters. That should be easy, shouldn't it?
When I go on Facebook, I type out my every thought, rarely, but sometimes using a filter. (Friends of mine will notice I have been posting significantly less since my book came out. And now that football season is over, Sunday posts will drop significantly too.)
Facebook is Grandma. You go to Grandma's house and blab your heart out. She gave you a plate of cookies, so you know she is just there to listen to you and fatten you up. She feeds your belly and your need to be heard without being judged. (Because all you have on Facebook are your "friends." If someone does not feed your soul, delete their friendship with one click of the mouse!)
Twitter is the automated customer service option on the phone. "Please select from the following options. For English, please press or say '1'..." We all hate them, don't we? We want to pick up the phone, have a person answer us with no wait and say, "What can I help you with today, sweetheart? Want a cookie?" Then we can open up and cry out the problem we have with our vacuum cleaner. Some companies are aware of this need and require their reps to say something empathetic like, "I can see how it bothers you that your device has blown up. Let me see what I can do to help you." But you know that means they will transfer you. But I digress.
Why is Twitter like that automated phone system? "Please press one..." to me may as well be "You can only say what I decide you can say." or "I can only help you in so many areas." Whereas on Facebook, you can blab away, Twitter says, "You can say whatever you want. As long as it fits *my* criteria." That criteria is about 1.5 sentences. Sure you can tweet several tweets in a row, but if someone else gets in between there, you are all messed up. AND, you have to remember that lines flow linearly in time, so you have to start with your last tweet first, and that means you have to know how many sentences you want altogether, and hope you don't forget one in between, and type fast enough to get them all out.... I am stressed just thinking about it.
Add to that my lovely OCD tendency of only using even numbers. (Don't ask. Just don't ask. Okay, you can ask, if you need to). Facebook does not tell you how much you have written. (Though some of your friends might. See above about un-friending.) Facebook remembers that Love keeps no record of wrongs.
Twitter tells you exactly how many characters you have used. Oh gosh, I have to make it an even number of characters or else I have to rewrite. And do you KNOW how much I like to rewrite? On top of that, Twitter keeps track of how many tweets you have posted, how many followers you have and how many people are following you. I have actually posted things like, "This is just my OCD tweet," and "Please tell your friends to follow me so I can have an even number of followers." Yes, I have deleted people to follow too.
Since it drives me crazy, why do I need it?
Apparently, a lot happens on Twitter. As much as the organization of it drives me nuts, it is also the organization of it that saves me work as well. Mostly, people are not on Twitter to be your friend but to see what interests you share. Twitter is not Grandma, but sometimes you need to go to work and get stuff done. One Twitter, I can talk directly to book people, running people, football people, or Bible people, all while not disturbing the rest of the world.
And when I reach the right people, have even numbers of tweets, followers, and followings, I can sit back and relax. Maybe I'll eat a cookie and tell Grandma about it.
PS - if you want to follow me on Twitter, please do! But only if you get a friend to do it too. ;)
Passion Under Grace,