I was late to jumping aboard the texting train. Though I knew of it, I long resisted this form of communication for two reasons. My initial beef with texting – and the one I used as my excuse for not doing it – was that I didn’t want to be so easily accessible to people. But my real gripe with it – and the one I conveniently kept to myself – is that it drives me up the wall when I don’t get a response. Oddly enough, that’s also the reason why I eventually caved in to this technological terror… Once my roommate told me that the weird buzzing sound coming from my phone meant that someone was texting me, I felt obligated to reply.
But there are those who don’t.
It’s cool. I get it. Texting is cas communication, right? But I fear that this casual attitude is overextending its boundaries, and I don’t like it. Not one bit.
An anecdote if you will… Not too long ago, a friend asked if I would talk to his niece about my beloved alma mater, Columbia College Chicago. Apparently she really wanted to attend CCC, but hadn’t the chance to check out the school for herself. Why? Because she lived in France. So it was up to me to explain not only the ins and outs of film school, but also the joys and wonders of downtown Chicago. I happily accepted my friend’s request and proceeded to write a book about everything from declaring a concentration to keeping your eyes akimbo for muggers. I even reread my Facebook message masterpiece several times to check for spelling errors and split infinitives. It was perfection. I hit the send button with a flourish and eagerly awaited her response.
I’m still waiting.
I got nuthin’. I never got a response, nor did I ever receive a thank you. I didn’t even get a “thx” or “ty!” I suppose some people would say that kids her age simply don’t have the manners that you and I were taught. Pardon my French, but that’s bullsh*t. If anything, we’re worse.
Social media is bizarre, and there’s no getting around it, so I won’t try. I’m not gonna get all crazy because you didn’t like my Facebook post or respond to my tweet. I might de-friend you, though. If you haven’t so much as liked a single photo or status update in however many years of being Facebook friends, I might end our online relationship, but I figure you probably won’t miss me much if I do. However, I hold LinkedIn to a higher standard.
If Facebook is the clingy creeper and Twitter the over-sharing loudmouth, LinkedIn is the respectable sister who tries to make good on the social media family name. After all, there’s actually a purpose to LinkedIn beyond stalking friends and telling the world who you think should get voted off American Idol. LinkedIn is supposed to be for professionals, dammit.
Though the site posts warnings about accepting invitations from people you don’t know, there comes a point when that’s exactly what you have to do. How else are you going to expand your network? It would be kind of awkward to tell someone that you’re not accepting her invitation until you meet her in person. Plus, if you live in LA, that could take forever. I have best friends living less than five miles away whom I’ve not seen in well over a year.
But I have no shame in saying that I will totally check out a person’s profile before hitting the accept button. And once I do, I automatically send the following message:
Thanks for the invite to connect. It’s a pleasure to meet you!
Nine times out of ten, I get crickets. Perhaps I’m in the minority here, but I think that’s a touch rude. Now if we were on Match.com or OKCupid, sure, no problem. The sad truth to online dating is that you have to disregard your urge to be a decent person and ignore the peeps you don’t like. Otherwise, you’re just leading them on. I’ve been on both sides of that coin, and believe me, you’re only cruel to be kind. But ignoring someone to whom you reached out on a professional website?
Ain’t nobody got time for that.
Image courtesy of digitalart / FreeDigitalPhotos.net