Facebook Is The New Phone Number

Not long ago in the days before Facebook, the phone number was significant social currency. It gave others direct access to you. The only other choice in the old days was to give someone the keys to your house. Phone numbers were a big deal.  Now with the entire social networking sites, email, blogs, etc. There are a variety of ways to connect, communicate, and otherwise maintain an awareness of people you come across.

With all of these new access points, I present in order of intensity my communication list, ranked from most personal to least personal.

  1. Email
  2. Facebook
  3. Twitter
  4. Blog
  5. Mobile #

I think email is the most personal because it serves as a gateway to pretty much every online experience. When you sign up for a service, what do you use? You use your email. That access is premium in my mind.

Next is facebook. Access here is really like inviting someone to a family reunion, secret clubhouse, and school reunion all at the same time. Your buddies and core friends are all up for consumption. It’s kind of a big deal in my mind and rounds out number two.

Twitter is really allowing someone to listen in on your chit chat, real time. If I had a dollar for every time I already knew about a story I was told because yes, I saw it on twitter. This is a middle ground for me, because you really need to pass the interesting sniff test.

Bringing up the rear are blogs and mobile numbers. Blogs are in my mind carefully crafted posts that someone put out there for a reason. This is less raw than any of the above modes. Due to the polish, I’m of the opinion that it’s far more formal and less personal than the items above. Mobile number, it’s really a real time stab in the dark. By their very nature, phone calls are an interruption. If you don’t connect real time, there is always voicemail, but who checks that?

There you have it, my current stab at a personal communication hierarchy. Let me know your thoughts in the comments.

The Author

Sean Oliver

Sean Oliver is a management consultant in Seattle, WA