As an avid user of social media platforms such as LinkedIn, Facebook, YouTube, Plaxo, Flickr and others, one of the questions I face regularly is “to friend or not to friend?” In some instances you will see a name of someone you “know” in the friend finder and you ask yourself, “Is this someone I want to connect to?” At other times you will receive a friend request and have to decide if you want to connect with that person in a public forum.

Interestingly enough, I used social media to gather data for this article. I posted the following using the tool HelloTxt to all of my social networks: “How do you decide whom to friend and follow in social media and micro-blogging?”