Why I Don't Respond To Random LinkedIn Connection Requests

Similarly, when Jack asks me if I know any partners at venture capital firms investing in early-stage technology startups, and Jill, Jane, and Judy are all partners at such firms, he will see I am connected to all of these accomplished people, but I can't help him at all. Again, that trust is gone. There are people I know who connect with literally anyone - even spammers; I never ask them for introductions.

Scenario 3: Keeping in touch

I like congratulating people on new jobs. I do this pretty regularly. I often send notes congratulating people on work anniversaries, especially if it's a milestone year, like a first or fifth anniversary. It's hardly high involvement. But it's an easy way to stay current with people, and with anyone I'm connected to, I'm rooting for their success.

If I don't know them, I am happy that others are successful, but I'm not rooting for them. I'm not emotionally involved in any way. Sometimes I'm impressed that some person I don't know winds up in some important-sounding role. But that doesn't mean I have any emotional investment.

It is nice to hear kind remarks from people I don't know, but it means far more to get supportive messages from friends, or at least acquaintances who I really know. And if I just get a bunch of formulaic messages from people I don't know, then there's no meaning behind it. It even takes away from the more meaningful messages.

From friending to following

The problem with a missive such as this is that it will preach to the converted. I can send this to anyone who sends a random contact request; they're not going to read it. I can choose not to connect with people who advertise their number of connections in their headline; they won't lack for people to accept the requests.

But for the odd person who cares, this is a testament to why connections matter, and a reminder why fake connections are counterproductive.

It's also why I love the "follow" button. It's asymmetrical. There's no requirement for a relationship. Frequently, when I encounter people on LinkedIn who I don't know well enough to send a connection request to, I follow them (typically on Twitter, but that's a personal preference, and it could just as easily be LinkedIn).

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Duanne Johnson 2 years ago Member's comment

Another reason to avoid requests by those you don't know. There have been news reports of fake accounts being used to solicit info. From scammers or even foreign agents. Gotta be wary on #Linked. $LNKD.