Social Networking and Etiquette

False pretenses stink.
Some people come straight to you as a contact.  Others, pretend they seek friendship.  If you're in a position to help someone, there will be users.  It hurts.

Social media has lighter incidents.  Someone you contact blasts you with promotional email.  Someone follows you on Twitter, baits you into following back, then deletes you without a thought.  These instances aren't outright duplicity, but they're shady...

The networking "rule" is to give first so others will reciprocate our kindness.  The basic thought behind the rule is fine but, when people start giving in expectation of return, it's wrong.

When I comment on a blog post, I liked the post.  When I retweet, I found something of value I want to share.  I don't ever... ever... do the social media activities people associate with kindness expecting to be repaid.  If people follow me, retweet me, share a poem or short story I wrote... I want it to be because they see something of value in me or my work.  It doesn't feel right to gain attention through obligation.  And if I come to you in friendship, it is genuine.
Then again, what the heck do I know?  I'm probably the worst person at networking the Internet has ever seen.

Do you think it's okay to expect a "return" when you reach out?


  1. Your comment about being "the worst person at networking" amused me--I laughed and am still laughing as I continue thinking about it. But I know what you're saying. If I share a post I've read there's a good reason for my doing so.

    I also try to practice reciprocity as much as I can but sometimes it does get a bit overwhelming. And sometimes I'm so technie dumb that I can't figure how to do things.

    But, yeah, I get kind of annoyed by those Twitter folks that lure me into their circle and then dump me when they've got me hooked. That's why I check the Who Unfollowed Me site about once a week. If they dump me I dump them in return. Reciprocity in action, negatively speaking.

    I understand your frustration.

    Arlee Bird
    A to Z Challenge Co-host
    Tossing It Out

    1. I do think I stink at marketing. I've had this blog over four years and I only have thirty followers, half of which aren't even on this site anymore. Perhaps I'm too boring.

      I check out Twitter stat sites. I like knowing if I'm making any headway. My Twitter account is much more active and "successful".

      I've always been the kind of person who values meaningful interaction with the few over many acquaintances, maybe that's why I have difficulty cultivating quantity.