Let’s say you are presented with a unique and unexpected opportunity. One that would require a several-month commitment, that would mean significantly shaking your life up, but could ultimately be the best thing that ever happened to you.
You need to ask some friends for advice. People that know you completely, your life situation, and that you trust to give you good and sound advice.
Now if you needed to make a list of 5 people from your Twitter network to email (not including friends you know outside of Twitter or before you used Twitter), how long would it take you? I ask because I often find myself in such a situation. And every time I struggle to find more than 2-3 people that I would really trust to reach out to. And every time I hear this tiny voice in my head saying ‘why is it that you are following these people?’
Which is a silly question to ask, because I am following everyone on Twitter and Facebook and wherever because I value the connections. But do we reach a point at which adding more connections stops adding value? Or worse, can we reach a point where adding more connections lessens the value of our existing connections?
Which becomes an interesting question to ask, when you consider that most social media sites and tools are built around making it easier to connect with more people. But lately when I am on Twitter, for example, I’m often in Twitter chats. I’m finding that I’m getting more enjoyment from Twitter chats, because even if the chat is huge like #Blogchat, I can zero in on a small discussion with just a few people, and really connect with them. It becomes more like having dinner at a conference versus being with 500 people in a session. I am seeing far more value in these discussions with smaller groups, and I’m finding that I am then starting to connect with them more outside of the chat.
So I have a couple of questions for you:
1 – Do you think in the next couple of years that we will see people begin to become more aggressive about ‘pruning’ their social networks, so that they have a deeper connection with the people they friend/follow versus just following them based on who they are?
And this is the far more interesting question to me…..
2 – If #1 holds true, will we begin to see a shift in the functionality of social media tools so that they encourage and facilitate smaller networks with deeper connections? And what would that look like? Simply limiting the number of connections you can have? Maybe the ability to expand your network has to go through your existing network via an introduction or something similar? Not sure, but I think the possibilities are endless.
What do you think? Are you facing social media burnout? Would you rather be loosely connected to 5,000 people, or closely connected with 50?