While not all-inclusive, the title probably holds true for the current average user (read non-marketing type) of social media platforms. Generally:
Majority of connections and conversations are with
- People from our past. Family and friends we grew up and/or studied with
- People we’ve worked with
- The occasional new friend or associate
Part of the saying, ‘One cannot choose ones family…’ seems to apply somewhat, to our Facebook friends list too.
Sure, there are those using Facebook differently, multiple accounts and all. But for the majority of facebook users, a Facebook friends list is composed of people who they have met, at least once, in their lifetimes. The lists are thus limited by some circumstantial dependencies.
Connections and conversations are mostly pursued with
- People who share our interests
- People who share professional goals
- People who can mentor us
- Those who can be mentored by us
As such, I think, Twitter allows a potential personal connection with the kind of person you want to be.
In most cases, we do not want to be limited to what the people in our past have to offer. In fact, the people from our early past may have very little in common with what we are today.
Mutual vs. one-sided opt-in
Facebook requires a mutual opt-in to connect. Barack Obama or Sarah Palin may not be my Facebook friend if I don’t allow it.
Twitter on the other hand requires only a one-sided initiative (for the most part). I follow Barack Obama on twitter without him having to follow me back. The fact that Barack Obama has not locked his Twitter account, implies permission to follow and access the information he chooses to put out.
This difference in access to personal connections between the two networks, arguably defines the future direction of what these networks can do for you.
The Mastermind Classroom
As an example: If your aim is to be a better photographer, Twitter allows you to follow as many photographers as possible, thus connecting to their collective expertise. Maybe even meet them personally. The flow and sharing of trade relevant (and often real-time) information, on this network, also presents the opportunity to tune in to latest industry developments. The real-time access to information, directly from leading minds, implies accelerated potential for self-improvement. The option to sit in on a virtual Mastermind Classroom. Empowering stuff!
Your Facebook friends list, though enriching in other ways, may not be able to offer you the same opportunities. At least, until the new ‘groups’ feature proves itself.
Thus the title.