Trying to keep up with what is happening in the field, I do research and the other day I came upon a blog by Amy Gallo that included the following:
Myth #2: Mentoring is a formal long-term relationship
Because the world moves fast and people change jobs and careers more often, a long-term advising relationship may be unrealistic and unnecessary. "Mentoring can be a one-hour mentoring session. We don't have to escalate it to a six-month or year-long event," says Willyerd (former Sun Microsystems employee). Instead of focusing on the long term, think of mentoring as something you access when you need it. "It may not be big agenda items that you're grappling with. You don't need to wait until you have some big thing in your career," says Meister. In today's world, she says, mentoring is "more like Twitter and less like having a psychotherapy session."
This is exactly the kind of nonsense that leads people to misuse and misunderstand true mentoring! Mentoring is a relationship built over time in which trust is established whereby the mentoree can share the real issues that impact his/her success, i.e. lack of self-confidence, how they are perceived by others, etc. To suggest that one can develop this type of relationship using Twitter is to border on the irresponsible. And to further suggest that mentoring need only be a one-hour session is to truly misunderstand mentoring. Technology has a place in supporting mentoring but it cannot replace the mentoring relationship.