Are Facebook & Twitter Just Entertainment For You?

    May 3, 2012

This is a serious question.

A study from The Hollywood Reporter and Penn Schoen Berland came out a couple of months ago about how Facebook and Twitter affect people’s experience with television and movies. It’s kind of old so I normally wouldn’t think it was worthy of devoting a short article to, but I came across a post on AllFacebook earlier today that cited a peculiar statistic from the study: 88% of Facebook and Twitter users consider visiting or posting to those sites as a form of entertainment.

I’m deathly curious to learn how those other 12% regard social media because… how could anybody regard Facebook and Twitter as anything but entertainment? I realize that over the past few years the two sites have been monetized in such a way that they’re now considered legitimate if not necessary marketing tools for business, but the reason that’s only even possible is because there were people getting their kicks and jollies on that site first.

I have this vision of people out there shackled into some kind of social media drudgery where pecking out their account password on the keyboard is akin to clocking in for a severely underpaid and under-appreciated job. Social media’s fun, social media’s dumb. Social media’s kinda great, social media’s full of hate. Social media keeps us together, social media and rainbows forever (sorry, I was being slow with rhyming “together).

Seriously, though, I do wonder if there are people in this world to whom Facebook and Twitter are something to be taken solely as a serious endeavor. Entertainment is such a broad term, too, raising the speculation of what other choices the researchers gave participants for the study. If it’s entertainment, other differing words I imagine as alternative choices are “work” or “distracting” or even “internet.”

So then, readers, let us know how you regard social media sites like Facebook and Twitter. I’m not going to give you any choices to pick from because I want this to be open-ended, so feel free to explain your answer if you are so compelled. Remember, though, please be honest, because this highly scientific data will be verified by a team of dark matter physicists at CERN this summer.