I Am NOT Your ‘Friend’: Laziness in Social Media Etiquette

I Am NOT Your ‘Friend’: Laziness in Social Media Etiquette

I am pretty forgiving of lapses in social media etiquette. After all it is still being established. But one thing that has really started to annoy me is people selecting the ‘friend’ tab when making unsolicited connections on LinkedIn. This irritates me for two reasons: they are clearly not my friend, and they have ignored the other more appropriate options such as ‘other’. I can cope when people put in an explanation in the accompanying message but they invariably don’t.

So, to avoid incurring my wrath, here is the proper way to make an unsolicited connection on LinkedIn*:

  • Do NOT choose the ‘friend’ option: select ‘other’
  • FIND the person’s email address if required through Google — it’s not hard
  • Write a message explaining WHY you want to connect and what the advantage for the other person might be (Tip: you selling me something is rarely an advantage for me)

In the long term we may become friends — I hope we do. But if today we are not and you want to connect, please show that you have some manners and follow the tips above.

The world will be a better, happier place.

(*Note that LinkedIn suggests that you shouldn’t connect to people you don’t know but I think this is bunkum: as long as you have a good reason to want to connect that makes sense to both parties)

You are at: Home » I Am NOT Your ‘Friend’: Laziness in Social Media Etiquette

This article is by Tom Cheesewright. This post forms part of the Future of Business series. For more posts on this subject, visit the Future of Business page.

Tom Cheesewright


Futurist speaker Tom Cheesewright is one of the UK's leading commentators on technology and tomorrow. Tom has worked with a huge range of organisations across a variety of markets, to help them to see a clear vision of tomorrow, share that vision and respond with agility. Tom draws on his experience to create original, compelling talks that are keyed to the experience of the audience but which surprise and shock with unexpected facts and examples.

Future News

Subscribe to my newsletter and get weekly stories plus other insight into tomorrow's world.

Latest Articles

Tom Cheesewright