The confession of an idiot…or be selective about who you invite to join your LinkedIn network

That would be me. Here’s why. You see, I was approaching 400 connections on LinkedIn and started getting greedy. I wanted more connections. Not too many; I just wanted about 1,000, not 10,000 or anything like that. So I joined a service that promises to generate thousands of connections for me. This service lived up to its promise.

You’re probably thinking, “Why did you join this service if you knew what you’d get?” And you’re right. That’s why I’m an idiot. That’s why I want the invites to stop pouring in, more than 30 a day sometimes, often from people who lack a photo, have a hellishly weak headline that reads, “Looking,” or are scammers who are hoping for a sale. Or a combination of all three.

If you’re wondering what I do with the bazillion invites, I Ignore the ones mentioned above–which accounts for 95% of them. At the end of the evening, I clean my Inbox (because I hate clutter) and await the next day when the barrage of invites start again.

I know some of you are muttering right now, “What an idiot” right now. This is why it’s called a confession. I’m confessing to making a mistake and possibly disappointed thousands of people who want to be connected with anyone they can, any person with a heartbeat. Otherwise, I can’t think of why they’d like to connect with me. To those who simply want to collect connections, I apologize.

There’s a great article from a woman named Mildred Talabi (now, she’s someone I’d like to connect with) titled Why You Should Reject LinkedIn Requests, which I think is inappropriately titled; it should be titled: Why You Should be Selective and Not Join a Service that will Flood You with Unwanted Invites. But that’s not the point. The point is that she makes a real good argument for being selective.

There are two camps on this issue as far as Mildred explains. First, having a huge number of connections increases your visibility and potential for getting a job offer or business, e.g., business owners who want to reach as many potential customers as possible.

Second, with so many connections, it’s impossible to keep track of them and maintain a healthy relationship. (After all, we only have the capacity to know, really know, 150 people). This is where I now stand, and have always stood, until I joined that service in a moment of insanity.

Well that’s how I took her reasoning, and I hope I didn’t screw up her great argument.

So what do I do now? I guess I apologize to all those people who wanted to be one of my connections—although I don’t see why they would—and buck it up for a year. Yeah, I paid a year’s fee in advance. Go ahead, call me an idiot.

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