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.
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:
- 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);
- 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;
- 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,
- 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).
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.