Why Twitter > Facebook.

Twitter connects users based on thoughts and brain cells. Facebook connects people who Like the same brand of pants. - Nicole D. Miller

These are my words. Mark them. I've debated this issue multiple times from a buffet line of angles with a melting pot of people. The conversations always go a little something like this:

"Why do you like Twitter, Nicole? I think Twitter is stupid."

Me: Do you know how to use it?


Me: It's much different from Facebook. Instead of waiting for someone to comment on your status or tag you at the latest bar scene, people on Twitter are busy learning from the feeds they are subscribed, connecting with people who share the same thoughts and ideas or talking to public figures who would have never noticed their existence if it wasn't for the unique Twitter format.

"So what? Facebook can do that too."

Me: Maybe. But is Jim Carrey really updating the Jim Carrey Facebook page? Considering the fact that his Facebook Biography was posted via Wikipedia, I think that's a big fat no. But he sure does have 73,650 Likes, while 616 Facebook users are currently talking about him. I would rather follow him on Twitter and read his kooky Tweets with random photos of himself instead of connect with a giant Facebook advertisement for Jim Carrey.

"Yeah right. It's probably not really Jim Carrey! How do you know?"

Me: Because it's an official Twitter account for Jim Carrey. See the blue check mark and photos he has posted of himself? And look at the Tweets. Entertaining opinions and silly, custom Jim Carrey emoticons. Not career plugs.

"Good point. Are there other famous people on Twitter?"

Me: Yes! For example, Jonah Hill is an avid Tweeter. Once in awhile, he'll cue his followers to Tweet him rapid-fire questions about anything and he answers any questions for a certain number of minutes. That's fun. Even publications like USA Today reach out to Twitter users. One day I got into a discussion with @USATodaytech about Facebook and they were talking to me personally. On Christmas morning I Tweeted a photograph to a company called Quirky. The photo was of my grandma opening a Quirky product on Christmas morning and my Tweet/photo was Retweeted by the founder and CEO of Quirky, Ben Kaufman. Twitter is a great way to get noticed by public figures or celebrities. 

"But you only get 140 characters to say something! How lame is that? Facebook doesn't give you a small limit for status updates."

Me: That's because Twitter trims the fat from what people are trying to say and get out in the world. Do you really want someone to drone on and on about their cat and inject that into your newsfeed?


Me: But they can on Facebook. At least Twitter will cut them off by the time they get to the cute way the cat sleeps. Then, Twitter connects that person with other users who use cat-related hashtags.

"Facebook gives you more characters per status update. I would say this allows for more creativity and mental stimulation!"

Me: And you are very much entitled to that opinion. However, writing clear and concise sentences is not easy. If it was, everybody would have a journalism degree. Twitter forces people to be short and sweet.  This relates back to my point about Twitter stimulating more brain cell use than Facebook, where people partake in the near-limitless droning.

"Well either way, social networks are all the same! Friends and followers. Photos and updates."

Me: Yes, you can Tweet photographs of random things on Twitter. Keyword: Random. Most likely, the photograph is related to the 140 characters you're Tweeting with it, making it relevant to thoughts and conversation. No, Twitter does not let you upload entire photo albums or tag people in photographs in which they never wanted to be digitally connected with in the first place. Friends vs. followers is also debatable. Think of followers as your audience. Your followers are actually interested in what you have to think and say - the entire point of Twitter. Gaining Facebook 'friends' can be forced and awkward, as they request your permission to form a digital friendship for all to see. And even so, is what they're saying really that interesting or thought-provoking? What if it's someone you haven't spoken to since high school and never really liked? Do you accept them and put up with their digital life that has now meshed with yours? Do you accept them as a 'friend' and then hide their posts in your feed to keep your sanity without offending them? Do you deny them and feel like a jerk for being mean to a possible new 'friend'? On Twitter, they can follow you or unfollow you and vice versa. You can make everything public or make everything private, where followers would have to request to follow you. Simple.

"I don't know. I have enough privacy concerns with Facebook. I don't think I want to add another social network to the mix."

Me: Please don't get me started on Facebook and privacy. 

"It's all the same, though."

Me: I'm going to level with you. Facebook uses its users more than the users use Facebook. It's almost like malware/spyware that comes in a fun package. Sure, it has entertaining qualities. You can poke people and Like things. Then you can perform free advertising on Facebook, for Facebook, to make your 'friends' Like things. Then people can tag you in photographs that are now connected to you, whether you have your tagged photos set to "private" or not. You can also wait a few years while Facebook monitors and archives your every move, on and off the website. On the website, your information will come back in a new Facebook Timeline. Don't like that idea? Well, that's too bad. Off the website, Facebook has special tracking cookies to monitor what you're browsing on the web to a certain extent. Wondering why you get all of those Facebook ads that somehow cater to your interest and/or something you've researched independently? That's why. Are you aware that the Federal Trade Commission has also stepped in with Facebook privacy issues? The FTC doesn't just step into things willy-nilly. 

"I think you're contradicting yourself. Didn't Twitter have some issues with the FTC?"

Me: Yes. That had to do with Twitter not having enough security against hackers (outside sources). That had nothing to do with Twitter deceiving, invading and using its own users willingly and knowingly. Do you know how many ads are on my Twitter home page right now? Zero. Do you know how many times Twitter has used my web identity, words or photographs to form an advertisement or fan page? Never. 

"I guess this makes sense. I still don't get how Twitter really works, though."

Me: Here, let me show you how to make a Twitter profile. 


311 Pow Wow: Not just a concert, but a way of life.

It’s way too fucking hot. So hot that I’ve already sweat out those four swigs of Jose Cuervo and bypassed the buzz. Gnats are like cockroaches of the heat; nothing will kill them. I’m honestly starting to think they thrive in bug spray, as they stick to me like seagulls in toxic waste. Sure, Florida is sweltering in the summer months — you break a sweat on the way to that air-conditioned car in your driveway — but this is lethal temperature. I’m no meteorologist, but it’s over 100 degrees and 189.5 percent humidity... or something. The air is so thick you could slice it with a toothpick; it’s like wearing an oxygen tank filled with steam. But you’re worth it, 311 Pow Wow Festival. You’re worth it.

The 311 Pow Wow at the Suwannee River Music Park is not just a concert in the middle of a heat warning. It’s a way of life.

I’m not about to go all hippie-ish on you, but I may just a little. Just imagine a beach, but instead of gross sea water, insert the Suwannee River. Add black dye to the water and the ability to spark a joint without worry of an incoming misdemeanor. The sand is fluffy, yet scorching. Across the river, concert-goers are swimming to the rope swing and miniature cliff for their 15 seconds of fame. All jumpers are briefly judged by the roaring crowd of floating limbs and shimmering Bud Light cans on the other side. Scores are determined by a lull of: Wooo, Awww, and “I think she popped an implant!”

The first day, jumpers are just getting warmed up — different leaping techniques and various 311 praises. The second day, the clothes come off. By the third day, divers are jumping naked with added props. Dear Umbrella Guy, wherever you are, please know that you’re my hero.

A member of my clan tries to top that by blowing a red plastic horn on the way down, but drops it.

The 311 Pow Wow is a place where strangers greet each other with drunken wooing and water balloons. A good day happens when a balloon lands in the back of your moving pick-up without exploding, so you can throw it at someone else. A better day happens when your next victim catches it in perfect condition and flips a u-turn in their measly golf cart.

Then you remember why you’re here.

Oh yea, The Dirty Heads are playing live. Right down the street. The stage is within walking distance. Stop at your campsite for more tequila and smokes. Stumble to venue. Flash wristband. Stumble in.


The Dirty Heads are like a tropical beat-box. Beach bum music mixed with an acoustic and rap. They remind me of Flobots, because they blend a fast-paced alternative sound with rap and hip-hop rhythms. Seeing Lay Me Down performed live with Rome from Sublime is magic.

This is the first concert I’ve ever attended in my 23 years that provided free water for the crowd. It’s basically a set of hoses with faucets, but who gives a shit. Partiers are even allowed to bring in their own bottles of water from camp. Thank you, Suwannee River Music Park, for not charging me $8 to live.

I know absolutely nothing about MURS except he puts on a great live show. With Whole Wheat Bread joining him on stage and a surprise cover of Bulls On Parade, I can’t help but screech into my beer and channel my 10th grade self. Whole Wheat Bread covering Rage = monumental occurrence in my life.

I would like to take this time to dedicate a moment of silence to the Reel Big Fish. Bow your head fucker, seriously. Lack of Big Fish at the greatest ska/reggae show of my time is categorized under Tragedy.

You can’t find yourself at the 311 Pow Wow and not know about the Reel Big Fish — pioneers of third wave ska. And how would you be able to do The Fish? Everybody’s doin’ it.

Aside from the fact that I’ve been going to their shows for the past seven years, I was excited to see if the new guitarist wedged himself out of his shell and into Scott Klopfenstein’s limelight. He was left with some pretty big shoes to fill: silly banter, sporadic quips and sexy vocals. I think with a little audience ass-kicking practice, he’ll break out. The last Scott-less show I saw in Ybor left me a bit glum, despite a great show. In fact, it’s been 101 percent proven that Reel Big Fish can never play a bad show. Even when I saw them perform drunkenly at the Florida State Fair for 10 bucks a pop — despite the slurring words and AWOL lyrics — it was still bad-ass. Just a moment of silence, please.

This brings me to Streetlight Manifesto. Oh, Streetlight. Their sound is like putting an Energizer Battery inside a box of brass. Streetlight is harder, faster, and probably the best in bed. I’ve never been to a Streetlight show that lacked a thrashing skank pit, lucky if it can keep its pace with former Catch 22 frontman Tomas Kalnoky, spitting everyday views into rapid poetry. Unfortunately, due to drinking shenanigans, we lost track of time and missed the set. What? The naked jumpers are distracting.

Ah, The Supervillains. Hearing the name just makes me giggle, like I’m on my way to the ska circus. They remind me of every ska and reggae/hip-hop band I’ve ever liked all rolled into one (pun intended), complete with comedic value and upbeat tunes that leave you a little lightheaded, yet smiley. And hungry. I give them props for being the only band on Planet Earth to make people want to scream out “gonorrhea.”

Sublime with Rome. Do I really need to say more? Good, because I don’t remember the entire set. I was there, for sure. Just know that it was definitely worth it, and those of you who resent them because ‘they aren’t sublime,’ can suck it. That’s why they’re Sublime with Rome. Assholes.

311 played two sets Friday and Saturday, after the hellish sun dissolved and jumbo dream catchers were lit up on both sides of the stage. When they took the stage, it was like some kind of higher being just landed from the clouds to greet its people. Flashing hoola hoops swayed over the crowd; one kid even had a duck balloon impaled on a stick to joust in support of their never-ending sets. You just had to be there.

In conclusion, if the 311 Pow Wow Festival took place on its own island 24 hours a day, I would live there. Next to the venue there is a little store for water and other essentials. You can leave your iPod stereo and life savings inside your zip-up tent and nobody will steal it. You can leave a shitty tarp in the same spot for six hours and nobody will move it. There is a homemade ice cream shop where the sweet, old lady gives you three scoops no matter what, and uses real bananas in the ice cream.

311 did me right.


Day One: I will absolutely not pay for a millisecond of your wifi.

Five dollars for 30 minutes of wifi? Fuck you, Miami International. It's also required to have a Sunpass now in the Miami area? Or maybe it's everywhere. My aunt had it right: "It's so they can track you! Little China!"

I never want to be one of those people who need the $9.95/month unlimited access to Miami International's wifi. I'd venture to guess that those people start shedding at an early age and have heart attacks before age 40. Busy Busy Business People.

My name in Italian is Nicoletta. My cousin is going to be there too! I've heard lots about him since I was a kid. My grandma would always talk about Jacapo and tell him all about me. We're about the same age, and all I really know is he likes Green Day and the Chili Peppers. His American name would be Jake. He added me on Facebook awhile back, but I've never been able to decode his status updates. He does know English, though.

Seeing my aunts in Ft. Lauderdale was a trip. It was like watching The Banger Sisters. Aunt Diane is the crazy biker chick; Aunt Lorrayne is very proper and meticulous. Lorrayne practically counted the seconds until we needed to leave for the airport, while Diane talked about last night's bartending gig. It's weird how much distance can keep you from really knowing another side of your family.

My grandma is such a run-of-the-mill grandma: super happy, a little forgetful, extremely generous, a bad driver and can show you how to bake a pie. She lives pretty old-fashioned, yet owns a Blackberry and iPad 2. She also has that little keyboard that connects wirelessly to her big-screen TV. Yeah, my grandma is more tech-savvy than yours.

But she also engraved her iPad 2, so the back reads, "Happy Birthday and Happy Holidays" just in case.

"I still haven't decided if I like this thing," grandma says, staring at the reflecting Apple logo. "And it's really not that light."

About an hour until boarding.



I've decided to post my journal entries from my trip to Italia this summer. But before we move on to Day One, I think it's important to have some back story:

My grandmother on my dad's side has been wanting to take me to Italy ever since I could walk. She's not Italian, but my Grandpa Frank (her second husband) was born and raised in a little village on a giant Tuscan mountain. When he was younger, he came to New York for a job and ended up finding my grandma. Our family ended up in Florida, and they spent the next few decades of their life together alternating between the baking Florida sun and high Italian altitudes. They would live six months here, six months there and travel to other fun places in between. Grandpa Frank passed away about six years ago, but his lifelong dream was to move our entire family out to Luscignano to live the good life.

"He was so proud of his little village," grandma says. She hasn't been back to Luscignano in over a year, and claims she wouldn't have planned to come without me this summer. So, grandma is my tour guide for two weeks, as my graduation present is booked at every tourist's fantasy, and some places off the radar.

Stay tuned.


Dear Readers,

And by that, I mean the three of you who are awesome and actually read this thing when I update. Keyword: when. My bad. I've been busy this semester, but I do have some publications under my belt. Check them out:

Hard news article about check scams. Pretty proud of this one. Very unlike my usual sarcasm and stabs at pop culture.

Entertainment article about Facebook. God I hate Facebook.

10 TV channels you probably own, but never heard of (ignore the typos, idk who edited this one)

Every April Fool's week, my school paper prints a spoof issue. Basically, we get to make up all the articles and make it funny, like a prank for students. My spoof article made the cover of the printed publication :)

This semester, I was the Entertainment Editor for Her Campus online magazine. It's basically an online mag for girls in college, and the website is made up of branches all over the country. My campus just started a branch this semester:

Read on, ass kickers.