Glad to see I’m not alone in my scorn for Virginia Heffernan’s Sunday NYT mag story about Facebook quitters. Heffernan took very slim evidence indeed — a handful of friends have soured on the social media site — to suggest it is doomed like a college clique. Of course, the numbers don’t really back that up, as she herself acknowledges in a paragraph that encapsulates all that is wrong with this column:
The exodus is not evident from the site’s overall numbers. According to comScore, Facebook attracted 87.7 million unique visitors in the United States in July. But while people are still joining Facebook and compulsively visiting the site, a small but noticeable group are fleeing — some of them ostentatiously.
The most shocking thing about this flimsy story is that it actually made it past editors. Yes, The Medium is a column, and yes it’s the dog days of summer, when many editorial minders on vacation, but the NYT should know better. The NY Observer rightly spanks the paper for the story.
Do tweets affect ticket buying? Several outlets propagated the notion earlier this summer, but MovieTickets.com found otherwise in a poll this week. The NYT reports that 58 percent of those surveyed said Twitter messages had no impact on their decision; 30% chose the “What’s Twitter” option. Bad news for SkinniPopcorn.com, the movie tweet aggregator profiled by the Times earlier this week?
If you check your email, Facebook and Twitter before breakfast, you are not alone. The NYT has a front-page story about the phenom in today’s paper. Not that people the story’s about will actually get to it right away. Also suffering: the family dog.