Recently I’ve been working on building a better LinkedIn profile, inviting contacts I’ve worked with and joining several groups that inspire discussion related to work topics I’d like to learn more about. It’s been an interesting process deciding who to connect with, as I debate whether I know someone in the work arena well enough to connect with them on the site.
I do the same thing on Facebook, wondering if I should accept a friend request from someone just because we have 35 friends in common, forget the fact that I’ve never met them and we have nothing in common (aside from those 35 “friends”).
I recently read a column in the New York Times about social networks that discussed the very thing I’d been debating with myself. It zones in on networks, especially LinkedIn, and users that are getting a little overboard with connections, “LinkedIn megalomaniacs” who connect with “practically everyone they pass on the street.”
So much of life is about numbers…the ones in your bank account, the ones on your Guitar Hero score, and let’s face it, the friend or connection count on your social networks. But, as the article points out, should we be placing so much emphasis on our connection counts that we’re willing to professionally vouch for or share our personal lives with complete strangers?