Credit: Dan Morelle

If I deleted you from my Facebook, would you notice? What about if I stopped following you on Twitter?

And if you noticed, why would that be? Because you count your “friends” and followers closely? Or because you actually missed me?

We spend so much time “connected” to other “people,” but how deep do those relationships run?

So many of our online relationships are based on a single common interest. These relationships are different than many of the “organic” ones we form — the ones we form “out there” in the “real world.”

In the “real world,” our relationships start from a shared, common interest, but then they evolve.

As we share space with these people, we get to know them beyond our initial shared interests. They become humanized as our relationship with them grows deeper and more nuanced.

But our online relationships tend to stay compartmentalized.

We follow someone on Twitter because of what they tweet. We connect with them on LinkedIn because we do business and/or work in the same industry. And we might even add them on Facebook, but we’re mindful of what we share with them — of what we let them see.

Like a bunch of marketers, we try to keep these relationships targeted — we try to keep them focused.

But if they needed help in the “real world”, would we ever notice? If they needed help moving a couch, would we be there? How much do these relationships really mean to us? How much would we really miss them if they were gone?

4 thoughts on “Would You Notice?

  1. This happens quite often – I talk with people in real life (aka the meatspace) and we say, “hey, did you see on Facebook that…” and usually the answer is no. There are people who post a status update once in a while and those get lost among those who are posting all the time.

    I have unfollowed people on Twitter because the tweet “too much” that when I open up Twitter, all I see is their tweets.

    I use Qwitter, so I get emails when people unfollow me. Now that Twitter has added suggestions as to who to follow, I have more followers, and more unfollowing me. But I don’t know when people unfriend me in Facebook, as I don’t get alerted. A close friend of mine keeps unfriending me, by mistake, or so they say.

    Where we think that technology helps us keep up with people, it’s now at the point that we want to be in touch with more people, we NEED the technology.


    1. It bothers me when I meet up with online friends in a real space, and all they talk about is Facebook and Twitter gossip. Here we are actually meeting up, and they can’t get their heads unplugged.

      And to tell you the truth, Mike, I wouldn’t notice if most people unfollowed or unfriended me. I don’t know how many friends I have on Facebook or how many followers I have on Twitter. The only way I might notice is if I suddenly couldn’t DM someonone.

  2. There are a bunch of people that I follow on twitter b/c of who they are and what they have to say, but I wouldn’t say i’m in relationship with those people. The people on Twitter that I AM in relationship with, are people i’ve met through blogs, and we are our own little support network. I am so thankful to have had opportunity not only to be there for each of these friends, but to rely on them as well, during dark periods in my life.

    That said, there is no substitute for face to face conversations between like minded friends. I know that my online relationships pale in comparison to my IRL ones.

    1. You know, Julie, I follow two kinds of people on Twitter: (1) those who will keep me in the loop about stuff I care about, whether it’s personal or professional interests, and (2) people who I actually know in the real world.

      And you know what, I often overlook the tweets of my personal contacts because my Twitter stream is so over-run by the former group.

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