What level of “social network” automation is acceptable – before it becomes impersonal and “one way”?

If like me you are getting to grips with the latest trends in social media with the likes of twitter, facebook, linkedin, friendfeed etc, then you are probably familiar with the regularity of the updates and in the case of the micro blogging of twitter then you like me are probably wondering how on earth some people manage to send so many tweets every day as well as holding down a full time job. There is a whole industry grown up off the back of this new phenomenon, with applications galore to provide access whilst on the go (from your mobile) and to automate much of this. My thought here, is that with the increased use of automation – does this take away the personal touch and some of the very purpose of social media – being personal contact? I am comfortable with a degree of automation, but how much is too much – for example if everyone is just "sending" who is reading and responding?

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