Facebook friends are important, but is it really necessary to expand our online network of friends and connections? How many friends do you actually need?
When we talk about LinkedIn, we must say that this website is mostly about building professional connections, in contrast to Facebook where you can find both colleagues and friends. Many of us have more than a thousand Facebook friends and hundreds of LinkedIn connections. But how many do we need really since the traditional meaning of the word “friends” do not apply here? And can all these professional connections help us in our career, or give us a precious advice?
Facebook gives us the opportunity to make new, virtual friends and to meet interesting, influential people and most of us try to make the best of it. Having 1, 500 people in your friends list usually means you don’t really know even half of them, and if this is not a problem, the fact that you have never spoken to them, is becoming disturbing. Of course, there are all kinds of Facebook users and many of them would not agree because their only purpose for creating and maintaining such an account is to become more popular.
A thousand LinkedIn connections however, is a little too much. Even if you work in the sales or marketing spheres where you need to stay connected to more people, having so many friends is weird. After all, do you need them just in case you may some day in the future take advantage of knowing them? If that’s the case it becomes awkward if you think about why they are keeping you? Most probably for the same reason you do.
Isn’t a better idea to connect with people who are really helping you, doing the same projects like you, and of course, need your help back? You should appreciate these LinkedIn friends who influence you professionally, and at the same time are reliable and worth your trust. You need to rely on these people to advise you in your professional decisions. And all your other connections – the colleagues of your sister or neighbor, or of your previous employer, are becoming unnecessary people in your list.
If you take into account these factors, your personal social network will shrink to five or less people. You need to be clear on one thing, whether you want a useful professional network, or just a random, or sales list. The purpose of a LinkedIn registration should not be commercial, and if you agree, you should admit that you need no more than ten or fifteen people.