social media flunkie

Personally, technology and I have not always gotten along.

There was the infamous-among-my-friends episode in which I inadvertently employed the use of the match.com “Thanks, but no thanks” button four times in one night at the same guy.  And I’ve certainly had my share of misdirected texts, Reply-All emails, and cringe-worthy Facebook moments.  But nothing on the scale of today’s social media epic fail.

The funny thing is that I actually do this for a living.  Really, I do.  As part of my job, I host a successful Facebook page and Twitter feed for the city that employs me, and I’ve created and maintained a website with double the traffic of its predecessor.  So, it would be fair to expect that I’d have a decent grasp of this stuff.

But no.  Not really.

Today, I received an Invitation to Connect from LinkedIn.  Turns out one of my work colleagues wanted to connect with me.  Fine, no problem there.  I logged in and accepted his invitation.  And that’s when LinkedIn did a really mean thing to me.

It showed me a window with about 6-8 people in it and suggested that I make some new connections.  I looked over the people in the suggestion window, shrugged, and thought, “Sure, why not?”  And then I clicked on the “Add Connections” button.  The next page cheerfully informed that 178 Invitations had been sent.

WHAAATTT?!?!?!?!?!?!

That’s right, folks, LinkedIn sent Invitations to Connect to everyone in my Yahoo address book who was currently on LinkedIn and not connected to me.  One. Hundred. Seventy. Eight.

You know why I wasn’t connected to most of those people?  BECAUSE I DIDN’T WANT TO BE CONNECTED TO MOST OF THOSE PEOPLE!!

As I assessed the damage, I discovered that the little window had a scroll function that I’d failed to notice… the six or eight people I saw were merely — and without exaggeration — the tip of the iceberg.  In reviewing the entire list of my newest LinkedIn Connections, I realized that the lucky recipients fell generally into several sub-categories:

  1. Friends and colleagues that I actually would like to be connected with but hadn’t realized they were on LinkedIn (perhaps a dozen people at most, including Parker);
  2. Acquaintances that I have no reason to be connected to, usually because they were from a former career or because my relationship with them truly consisted of a single email about my daughter’s soccer practice two years ago;
  3. People whom I simply don’t recognize at all (seriously — even after many of them accepted my invitations, I now have several dozen “connections” with people I don’t have the foggiest idea who they are or how I supposedly know them); and, of course,
  4. Those individuals that I really should have permanently deleted from my contacts folder because I have no wish to ever speak to them again (and yes, this category contains several ex-boyfriends of dubious character).

Sigh.

Now, my fondest hope was that everyone in Categories 2-4 would receive my invitation, view it and think “WTF?” and then politely disregard it, sending it quickly on it’s way to the little cyber trashcan in their email program.

But no.  Not really.

One of the first acceptances came from the guy I dated with the lingerie model/professional chef ex-wife.  A few acceptances later, I received one from a work colleague who, I happen to know, hated my very existence on this planet.  And then, of course, there were the flurry of acceptances from people who I’m sure are very nice, but I’ve no freaking clue who they are.  But the icing on the cake was, of course, the acceptance from Mike, the man who broke my heart in ways I hadn’t even known could happen.  Ugh and Ick.

Even as I sit here typing this, my phone happily pings me every few minutes with the announcement of another acceptance.  Yay me!

Annie has delighted in poking fun at me about this, and, really, who can blame her?  If she’d done it, I’d be having fun at her expense for weeks to come.  But she also reminded me that maybe I’d done this for a reason… Maybe the universe has a greater plan for my guffaw than merely providing fodder for my friends to tease me mercilessly….  I suppose we shall see.

Anyway, I guess I might as well head over to LinkedIn and try to figure out who these new connections are and why in the world they think we should be connected.  Or maybe I’ll just go pin some stuff on my Pinterest board… it’s probably safer.

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9 Comments

Filed under friendships, general musings, relationships, single mom

9 responses to “social media flunkie

  1. Ha, the exact same thing happened to me a couple of years ago…And it was very embarrassing in the same ways you describe. These networks are all sneaky in that way, relying on the fact that no one will ever read the entire “I accept” window, the small print and whatever else…
    PS. Just unlink from that Mike person, it’ll show him… 😉

    • I need to figure out how to unlink people because there are definitely lots of people that I need to unlink. I suppose I’ll look quite flighty for doing so, but oh well! 🙂 C’est la vie, n’est pas? 😉

  2. Oh no! Times like that where I really wish there was an “undo” button. I do like to think that it happened for a reason and something kinda cool is about to come of it. I guess you’ll know when you know, life is kinda neat that way. By the way, it’s me, 35MS – had to do a little redecorating…. 🙂

  3. I feel your pain. No harm no foul though most people don’t take it all that seriously.
    John Wilder

  4. Very true. Most people probably won’t even notice. 🙂 It’s the ones who will that bother me…. ugh.

  5. First, yay you. And I mean that most sincerely!

    Second, let me just take a moment to revise my estimate of your IQ.. 🙂

    Third, yep, you’re screwed. There’s no way to retrieve a wayward invitation.

    Fourth, there is some good news. You can easily unlink yourself from the accidental connections. You can even ‘announce’ it via an “Update” if you need to avoid looking (too) odd.

    I love hearing these stories. When I was doing support work for large databases in the past, a lot of tales would start with “I don’t know how this happened but…” or “This was working fine yesterday and nothing’s changed…” and they always boiled down to false assumptions or a failure to read the printed words right in front of them (for similar kinds of tales, see “Shark Tank” on computerworld.com). It got to the point I could often tell someone what the problem was (and the solution) before they’d finished telling me the symptoms.

  6. 😆 This had me laughing out loud! It is well known that I have a tragically “magnetic personality” regarding electronics. Hunny is the antidote. Seriously. I can have been fighting with things (like my computer or printer or camera or or or or or….) and he will literally get within a few feet and the the darn thing will magically work.

    Or, I’ll have been taking all the right steps with him watching, and nothing happens. He takes the same exact steps and things work like nothing was ever wrong. In some cases, he’ll have been sitting at his desk a few feet away, watching me, and then get up, talking to said electronic, and it will take off and work. It’s like he’s threatened them to work for me and they obey his command.

    I’ve also designed numerous websites from scratch, but yet, a new phone was intimidating. I had never texted until a few months ago when I finally broke down and got a phone. I’ve had one for a few years now. 😆 And all that online wonkiness definitely applies to me, too!

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