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Posts Tagged ‘facebook friends’

How We Make Friends On LinkedIn, Facebook And Twitter [CARTOON]

What is a friend? What is a stranger?

The answer to this question used to be crystal clear. Friends were people that you knew, trusted, socialised with and liked in real life. Strangers were people you hadn’t met. But then along came the internet, and along came social media, and suddenly our ability to accurately define what makes one person a friend and another a stranger became increasingly blurred.

After all, and even though you might have never met, there’s every chance you’re closer to and share more with some of the people on your Twitter network than you are to Facebook ‘friends’ you haven’t seen or engaged with since you left school. And, let’s be honest, didn’t really think all that much of back then, either. They’re strangers, and have been for 20 years. Maybe always.

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"Twitter makes me like people I’ve never met and Facebook makes me hate people I know in real life."

Fantastic cartoon interpretation over at The Next Web of an original tweet by @shaylamaddox.

What do you think? While hate is perhaps too strong a word, I think in many cases it’s fair to say that Facebook can often expose you to too much of your ‘real’ friends – and that’s an increasingly meaningless term – and their many (sometimes mind-blowing) whims and fancies.

All those photos, videos, likes, tags and, in some cases, flat-out bizarre opinions must have, I suspect, have damaged many a relationship. Less is more, and all that. And of course Facebook also encourages you to hook up with people who you haven’t known – and really don’t have any business calling a ‘friend’ – since you left school all those years ago.

And while Twitter can be overwhelming if you let it, by carefully optimising your network you can ensure that your feed is exactly what you need, whenever you need it.

I remember reading a similar observation to Shayla’s a few months ago that went something like this:

“Facebook is for the friends I have but don’t want; Twitter is for the friends I want but don’t have.” ~ Anon

Again, perhaps a little harsh, and of course there are exceptions. But is it fair to say that a network like Twitter, which encourages new relationships, has to win out in the long run against Facebook, which puts a greater emphasis on the old, including those that are long-dead, or never really added up to a relationship at all?

The biggest irony? According to the boys in charge, Twitter isn’t even a social network. How fantastic if it turned out to be the greatest socialisation tool the world has ever seen.

(I’m not looking to steal any thunder from TNW, so please head over to their comments area to have your say. And before my Facebook friends come down on me en masse – I love you all. Doubly-so if you’re also on Twitter.)