The Potential Perils Of Social Media (Or, Oops! An Unconventional Way To Get LinkedIn Connections)

By Alison Fulton

I confess, I am slow to warm to new trends in social media. Twitter? I used to make fun of it. What on earth could people see in it? That Twitter was a fitting name cos only a twit would tweet! Well, I must be a twit too, because I find Twitter to be one of my favourite emedia now and I tweet fairly often (@AlisonFulton1) and get lots of ideas from the people and groups I follow. (Follow @ASBPE).

Flipboard was something I took to immediately, without any reservations. How clever is that, my own personal magazine made from items I am interested in? Brilliant.

I don’t believe Facebook is as useful to me as it is to my other friends and colleagues. A lot of the people I would like to keep in contact with — friends and family on the East Coast, in England and Italy — just aren’t on it or into it, but I still scan it and find fun stuff every so often. I do always struggle with the loss of privacy I fear can happen if you are not really careful how you post.

Pinterest was another trend I thought I would let pass me by but I now have a modest number of boards, that I curate with things that I love … polka dots, for example. Gotta love those!

But LinkedIn, now this was genius. It’s wonderful for someone who is sometimes reserved and hates to network. It’s the perfect networking opportunity for introverts. No stranger to have to face, making small talk while balancing your drink, wondering if that last appetizer had left something disastrous in your teeth. No having to be “on” or attempt to be funny and charming. No having to step out of your comfort zone. Or so I thought …

I have made an effort to reach out to people I meet and see if they would like to be a LinkedIn connection. After all, they don’t have to accept and it’s a fairly non-threatening way to approach someone.

Photo: Marcie Casas/Wikipedia Commons

But twice I have managed to send out invitations I didn’t intend (I am blaming my delayed-reaction Internet connection and my propensity to press too quickly on my iPad; that’s my story and I am sticking to it) to a whole slew of people, connections, of connections of…

And what was really interesting was how many of those randomly invited people accepted my unintended invites!

I am not sure why, but I really appreciate it, as I had a goal of reaching over 250 LinkedIn connections this year and thanks to the kindness of those unknown connections accepting my random invites, I am getting closer to that goal. 🙂

Photo of Alison Fulton
Alison Fulton

Alison Fulton recently moved into emedia as a senior content specialist at Advanstar Communications following 20+ years as an art director there.

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