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.