It is hard to believe that there even was a LinkedIn 10 years ago. I joined just around the time that Mark Zuckerberg started Facebook, LinkedIn had begun barely a year earlier. So we are a good 10 years or so into ‘social’ media. And we’ve seen the stories about people loosing their jobs over Facebook posts – and even recently a father loosing his $80,000 settlement because his daughter bragged about it (against the confidentiality clause).
So everyone is getting up to speed with the possible consequences and starting to realize that these media are indeed ‘social’ and it’s important to contain yourself and behave appropriate all the time. When communicating on social media (and that includes e-mail) you’ll have to assume that your communication is never truly private. At anytime anyone you communicate with can take your response and ‘out’ it.
The email below as a response to a LinkedIn request is an extreme example of ‘how not to respond’.
The recipient of this email went viral with the message and the post made it to CNN. the writer of this email certainly didn’t make up for her title “Communicator of the Year” in the this message!
So what is the proper LinkedIn Etiquette when being asked to connect? There is one response that is also accepted anywhere else online: it is ok not to answer. There are too many emails, posts, requests to answer all to begin with. You don’t have to answer someone you don’t know. And if a message elicits an emotional reaction – you will always want to wait before writing an answer. Because it is likely that if you don’t wait you’ll write stuff that you will regret.
Press <Delete>, Ignore, Spam, walk away … but do not ever get nasty. It will come back to you. If you answer – be polite.