After more than a month barely on my PC, I am rather excited to plug in my arms’ extension: my keyboard. Aaaahhh! That thrill of reconnecting to social networks and emails. That extra boost of oxytocin of being part of the tribe. I feel my connectivity, like a second skin, pulsing around me like a magical aura.
LinkedIn is my first stop. I had taken off my notification, and here I can see them, more than 30 connection request. I am smiling up to my ears: more than 30 people want to connect, and I will soon know what for? Is it for my expertise? For sharing a new coaching tool? For introducing me to someone new? My imagination is already writing novels as I check the first invitation message… Nothing! but the automatic sentence… the second then… the same! I keep my smile up as I go to the third, fourth, fifth, sixth, ….. 10th… the smile stretches an inch shorter…. 18th, 19th, still nothing… a crease joins on my forehead… 28th… 29th… come on, give me one at least… 34th 35th 36th… and still nothing. Not a single personal line! Not a single one. I guess many people must have broken their hands this summer, incapable of typing a single line on their keyboard… life can be tough!
Have you ever seen that YouTube video “Real life Facebook”? It is still one of my favorites; I especially like the guy actually writing on the guy’s wall, yes his house wall. What would then be: “Real life LinkedIn”? Probably snooping into someone’s smartphone to get their contact list without even a hello or good bye.
We have created an amazing paradox actually. Unless given permissions people won’t talk to someone they do not know in real life. We see that with the countless events organized by social groups, for instance Meetup, CouchSurfing, InterNations to name a few with a WW spread. People sign into a networking event, and once there, since they have given themselves permission to meet, they talk with each other; while they would have met that same person in a bar the day before, they would most likely have passed without a hello. I guess, if it’s not organized, it’s not safe. Meanwhile, behind their keyboard, their screen and their “handle”, people have no limit… they jump into conversation uninvited; they tag people on picture they would not dare to publish about themselves; or they connect without an intention or even an idea of who they are actually connecting to.
Shy in real life? Rude online?
I will defer to Jon Ronson and his fantastic speech, “When online shaming spirals out of control”, to enlighten us on some of our motivation behind forgetting our manners online. When it comes to LinkedIn, I know some will say “I am saving time; I am using the automatic options”. Do you really want to delegate your critical thinking to apps or software? I am voting for the old fashion illusion of really connecting with people using simple tools like a computer, a smartphone and some apps; though sometimes old fashion feels like being ahead of time.