Does Twitter follower equal Facebook friend?

I’ve struggled with this one for months now. I have considerably more Twitter followers than I do Facebook friends. It is far easier for me to follow someone on Twitter than it is for me to ask to be someone’s friend on Facebook. 

I look at the “Find a Friend” page on Facebook and ask myself  “who are these people?” When you take the people I don’t know out of the equation (and there are many), I’m left with people who I follow or who follow me on Twitter, or whom I “know” through Twitter.

For me, it becomes a question on whether I want to share a more personal slice of my life with these people. Isn’t Facebook a bit more “intimate” than Twitter, a place where you would likely let your hair down a bit more freely? I’m guessing yes. I see far more personal items, comments and photo’s on Facebook that I do on Twitter.

With that said, would you friend someone on Facebook that you’ve had maybe two or three exchanges with on Twitter? Would you friend someone who has a bazillion friends on Facebook and an equal amount on Twitter, knowing full well you’re just another number for them? The answer for me is no – on both counts. I’m not about the number of people I follow or friend. Do I talk to every person I follow or friend? Probably not, but neither do you. I’m betting we have a core group we regularly talk to, with a periphery group that we engage with on occasion.

This brings up my next question – once you friend your core group (if they are on Facebook), are you motivated to then move out to the periphery group? I have a hard time sending a friend request to people I really don’t know. I always send a message with my requests letting a person know where our connection started (i.e. we follow each other on Twitter) with my real name as a signature. It just seems like good manners and was especially important when my Twitter “name” and my Facebook “name” did not match.  Only once have I sent a request with no message and that was a Facebook error. Thankfully, the person did know me but it still made me uncomfortable.

With that in mind, I look at some people I would like to friend but can’t bring myself to do it. We might follow each other on Twitter and we may have exchanged a tweet or two, but we really don’t “know” each other.  Would you send a request anyway? I’m torn here. Do I really want to share a more personal side of my life with people I really don’t “know?”

Of course, you can always argue, I really don’t “know” anyone on Twitter either. I would have to disagree. I like to think that I do know the people in my core group (and a few in my periphery group) on Twitter. I’ve talked to them on a more personal level than just an @mention or two or a simple conversation. We’ve talked about our lives and what is happening in our lives – whether it is good or bad. We have cheered each others’ successes and have felt the pain when someone is hurting. We may have spoken on the phone, via email or Skype. I feel comfortable enough asking them to be my friend on Facebook.

I know some people only friend people that they have met in “real” life. Some folks friend everyone. Some might be more choosy like me. I don’t accept every friend request. If I don’t recognize a name or a face, I’m not ready to be your friend. (Those requests generally don’t have a message attached to them). Do you do that?

I’m curious how you approach friending or receiving friend requests on Facebook. What is your criteria?

I’m interested in what you have to say and appreciate your comments.

  6 comments for “Does Twitter follower equal Facebook friend?

  1. June 11, 2011 at 10:35 am

    Choosing what to share on what social networks is a trick thing, it seems to me. I’ve used Twitter for years longer than I’ve used Facebook. Since the dawn of fullyfollow.me and the fearsome connectiveness of some hard core EAv players, my original idea about using Twitter for books people, FB for people I know mostly offline and my blog for my online friends has come to seem….quaint. And I’m with Marie. It IS confusing.

  2. June 5, 2011 at 8:57 pm

    I follow many I do not know on Twitter, I friend many I do not know on Facebook… I have built many friendships both ways…

  3. June 5, 2011 at 7:04 pm

    I have generally followed the same path as Cinzia, in that Facebook was exclusively for family and friends, but have loosened up as other closer business and Twitter friends have been included now too. I also have a separate FB business page, but I find the lines are blurring between the two (and it seems increasingly so with each passing week).

    I know there are others who find benefit in open networking, with 500+ contacts on LinkedIn and thousands on Facebook. I guess there is something to that approach as well, but so far my focus has been on developing deeper connections with those I have a personal relationship with. In the end, I guess it comes down to what you are comfortable with at any given time, and that old standby: “to each his own”.

  4. June 5, 2011 at 6:27 pm

    This is something I struggled with and still do. I initially had a strict policy that FB was only for family and friends that I knew very well. I have just recently started to make exceptions to that as I’ve gotten to know some of my Twitter friends better. I still am fairly reserved with it and send or accept invites only with people I have had more than just some quick exchanges. This applies to most everything in the online world for me. Interestingly, on Foursquare I’ve gotten invites from people I don’t know at all. Why would I want to do that?

  5. June 5, 2011 at 6:15 pm

    I normally only accept or ask for friend requests on facebook with people I know pretty well. None of my twitter crowd is even in my facebook family! I have never met anyone from my twitter list. Would I take them on as FB friends? Yes, there are certainly some of them I would. These are people I know well enough and have developed a closer twitter relationship.

    Now I’m confused! lol

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