We move fast in online social media communities.
Those you meet at a networking event send you a LinkedIn request within hours of meeting. Silly how some think an exchange of a business card means a permanent connection. Having a LinkedIn connection means nothing if you do not really know the person.
People from high school pop up in your life in Facebook for the first time in decades. Some of them who want to be "friends" were never your friends in high school.
Celebrities get 10,000 followers in Twitter overnight, while personally only following 13 people (most of them are not actually Tweeting, their PR firms is doing it!).
Photos of you from the college fraternity / sorority parties appear in others online-albums and you are "tagged" - letting the world glimpse into your less than brilliant wanton youth (like the photo of when you passed out drunk and your friends drew on your face with a marker). People do not think through what they are doing and have no consideration for whom else might now have access to what they say about your online.
Connect, connect, connect. Link, link, link. Share, share, share.
It all moves fast in the social media online world.
Well, slow down. For social media to have power there must be meaning. Too many think it is a game, and that cheapens the value.
You do not have to connect with or follow everyone. You are not obligated to read everyone's comments, blog posts, or other pontification. Many view the internet as a giant time suck, and it can be if you are not careful. There is a lot of noise on line.
It is okay to take your social networking activities at your own pace.
On a side note, I had a funny experience last night while not really watching what I was doing on Facebook.
I was reconnected with one of my pledge brothers, John Gilham, from my college fraternity. He was a nice guy, but nobody knew what happened to him after college. Yes in the days before cell phones and the internet it was not uncommon to lose touch! Hard for some to remember, but these things were not common ten year ago.
He had just joined Facebook, and I jumped in and "tagged" him in photos from college in another friend's photo album. But my fingers were moving fast and I tagged John Gilham as Jonathan Gilliam. Gilliam is a friend here in Austin, Texas who is a local business professional and sales consultant.
Fortunately there we no embarrassing pictures (I would not tag someone in a photo that is not flattering, as that is not the right thing to do - on so many levels)... but all of Johnathan's friends would have be alerted that he was tagged in three photos.... three photos from 20 years ago of some other guy.
This is a reminder to pay attention and slow down.
Have A Great Day.