I am proud to say I am still on speaking terms with a good sized handful of people with whom I’ve punched the clock over these past 25 years or so.
I know the days of keeping a Rolodex and business card files are over and that there are more than a few websites that can complete this task digitally.
In the old days (maybe not that old, I’m referring to the pre social media 90s), if someone gave you a business card it may have been preceded by a handshake and some sort of an introduction. The same case applied for phone calls, of course minus the handshake.
From time to time I get invitations from people to connect on LinkedIn. I really enjoy it when it’s someone I know, someone I’ve worked with, someone who fate has delivered to these weekly rants, or someone I’ve gone to school with asks to connect.
I even like receiving invites from people who know people who know people I know. Heck, I’ve sent a few of those invitations myself.
Here is my quandary.
Every now and then, I get invitations from people I don’t know. Not contacts of contacts, or friends of friends – total strangers. This wouldn’t be so bad if these prospective contacts would provide some context beyond the generic “I’d like to add you to my network”.
Do you want to add me because you want to sell me something? Do you want to get the skinny on my gig? Were you also disciplined in the mid 70s by the nuns at St. Nicks? Did you too get your hair cut at Sonny’s on Kentucky Avenue back in AC? Were you also bent over on Marshall Street puking after a prolonged Happy Hour at Maggie’s? Have you read these ramblings and you want to connect so you’ll have uninterrupted access for those times when you’ve run out of sleeping pills?
Please, give me something!
I’m not averse to social media. In fact, it’s the channel through which I’m communicating as we speak. I guess my grey hairs get in the way of my totally embracing the concept of “connecting” with a total stranger – with no context, no digital handshake, no cyber Hiya John, let’s be pals!
Oh well! I guess I’ll go back to alphabetizing my old business cards!