Of course it is. After all, don’t we all want more? More impact? More status? More listeners? Look more important? And the only way to do that, is to get higher numbers. So we stack up the numbers on Twitter, Facebook, MySpace, Hyves, Netlog, Ning and whatever your favorite social network is called. And we claim it as succes. “10 ways to get 10,000 extra friends/followers/connections” is something I have seen in my mailbox often over the last couple of weeks. “How I gained 10,000 friends and earned 8K more over the last two weeks”. It is the stuff of peoples’ dreams apparently. And lets face it, it sounds attractive. But how attractive is it, really?
Well, it isn’t. And that is why there is a new trend. Kicking all those contacts that you have not spoken to in the last month and limiting yourself to that intimite circle of friends that really know you well. That solves it all. And you don’t have the trouble of having to follow any other people either. It really relieves your information intake and you can feel much less troubled by all these people you need to catch up with. Or does it?
To be honest, my take on the whole thing is different. Yes, I love to have people follow me. But the main reason for that is that I can follow them. It puts me in the position where I can start building a relationship with them. Even though that might be a bit much to ask with the 1616 people I am currently following on twitter and the 1063 that are following me. But when I do switch on Twitter, it is because I want to catch up with my friends. It is because I want to be in that relationship where we can share what we are doing and what we are about. And that is what social media should be about in my opinion. Sharing relationships. And the numbers? The numbers are all personal. If you can keep up with 20,000 then you could. If you feel you should stick to 50, that is fine too. As long as you remember that the way in which you can handle the relationships is what dictates your numbers.