If you want to be my friend on LinkedIn or Facebook, write me a damn message
I have all my social network email partitioned in GMail. Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Tumblr, etc…. All the emails from those services get labeled and auto-archived. So whenever I see Social Networks (1) in my list of labels indicating there is a new email in there, I always get a little excited. Is it a friend request from someone I haven’t heard from in a while who wants to tell me what they’ve been up to? Is it a message from that girl I’ve been chasing for the past 2 months? Did someone tag me in a hilarious photo from last weekend? Maybe it’s a direct message on Twitter because someone has something super cool they want to share with me and only me? Lately, however, it’s invariably been this:
“[Some jerk you haven’t seen in years] has indicated you are [something impersonal]. I’d like to add you to my professional network on LinkedIn.”
or it’s cohort:
“[Someone random from your past] added you as a friend on Facebook. We need to confirm that you know [this jerk] in order for you to be friends on Facebook.”
Twitterers are guilty of this crap too. Even though there is no place in the Twitter-follow-workflow to send a message to people, there is no reason not to. It’s free. It’s only 140 characters. Do it. Send a damn note. Someone just did this a few days ago, and guess what? It was actually nice to hear from her. She works right near me and we’re gonna grab lunch sometime after the holidays.
So let me know what you’ve been up to. Believe it or not, I might actually care. These are, afterall social networks. Be social. Take 15 seconds and at least tell me what made you think of me after all these years. Then maybe I’ll actually respond and we can use these social networks like they were meant to be used: to reconnect humans. Not to increment your connection or friend count.
As a disclaimer, this is something that has annoyed for me a while. This post isn’t directed at any one person. So if you’re one of the people who has sent me a Facebook or LinkedIn request in the past few weeks — and didnt send a msg :) — don’t freak out.