Just Because We’re Social Networking “Friends” Doesn’t Mean I’ll Go To 3rd Base With You

Just Because We’re Social Networking “Friends” Doesn’t Mean I’ll Go To 3rd Base With You

click here to read about social networking spam on AlmostSavvy.com

You Don’t Bring Me Flowers Anymore

Where did the romance go? When did we stop asking, “Tell me about yourself,” “Do you like to take long walks on the beach?” or even the tired old line, “What’s your sign?” Suddenly, upon meeting someone new, they immediately try to score and ask me to go over to their place to seal the deal.

Am I talking about my dating life? Hardly. I’m talking about my relationships with people where I spend much more of my time – online.

Talk (And Listen) To Me

We’ve all read the advice that the most effective ways to leverage the opportunities to build relationships with new people online is to be engaging and interested in them, by having a conversation that includes both listening and responding. Why then are people and businesses promoting themselves and trying to get me to buy their stuff as soon as I connect with them? It feels like I’ve just walked over with my hand extended intending to introduce myself and I get propositioned. Uh…ewww. All I can say is this doesn’t work with me – not in the real world and not online. If this happened at a live networking event, the conversation would go something like this:
  • “Hi. My name is Irene. It is nice to meet you.”
  • “Well (pretend you heard your name here), I’ll bet it is nice to meet me. You’re lucky you met me just in time because, boy do I have the answers to all of the problems you have or may have one day in the future. I know you’ll love my product/service/website so much that you’ll want to run out and spontaneously tell everyone you know about it, so here are some extra cards to pass out to all of your friends. Hey, you’re awesome, hope to talk with you again soon. Bye now.”
  • “Uh, what did you say your name was?”

Have you had this experience? When this happens online, it takes the form of email, newsletters, Facebook mail or direct messages on Twitter. As soon as you’ve “friended” someone on Facebook or followed someone on Twitter, you immediately receive newsletters or messages telling you to “click here” to do something – which benefits the other person. I’ve seen this on Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn.

twitter dm spam 1

linkedin spam

(click to enlarge images)

You Lost Me At “Click Here”

I connected with you because I wanted to get to know you. Consider it a first date, or the possibility of a first date. I don’t want you to kiss me, tell me what I need or invite me over to your place. If you do, you’re out. On Twitter, this is one of many reasons I will immediately unfollow you. On Facebook, I’ll unfriend you. On LinkedIn, I’ll disconnect. Through our connection, you have additional access to contact me directly. This access is a privilege, not an opportunity take our relationship where I’m not ready to go. No, I don’t want to come over to see your etchings or listen to your stereo (yes, someone really did ask me to do this when I was in college). I most certainly do not want to click on your link to buy something or find out more about you. It’s rude and presumptuous. It’s spam and, most importantly, it’s all about you.

When you want to talk, let me know. I’ll be here. In the meantime, stop groping my email address and trying to get to 3rd base. It ain’t gonna happen.

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57 Comments

  1. IreneKoehler July 15, 2010 at 4:34 pm - Reply

    Just Because We’re Social Networking “Friends” Doesn’t Mean I’ll Go To 3rd Base With You http://goo.gl/fb/tzYXN

    This comment was originally posted on Twitter

  2. ElaineKirk July 15, 2010 at 4:37 pm - Reply

    RT @IreneKoehler: Just Because We’re Social Networking “Friends” Doesn’t Mean I’ll Go To 3rd Base With You http://goo.gl/fb/tzYXN

    This comment was originally posted on Twitter

  3. […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Irene Koehler and Irene Koehler, Elaine Kirk. Elaine Kirk said: RT @IreneKoehler: Just Because We’re Social Networking “Friends” Doesn’t Mean I’ll Go To 3rd Base With You http://goo.gl/fb/tzYXN […]

  4. AlmostSavvy July 15, 2010 at 4:45 pm - Reply

    Just Because We’re Social Networking “Friends” Doesn’t Mean I’ll Go To 3rd Base With You http://j.mp/c0LKFK

    This comment was originally posted on Twitter

  5. ramblemuse July 15, 2010 at 4:49 pm - Reply

    RT @IreneKoehler: Just Because We’re Social Networking “Friends” Doesn’t Mean I’ll Go To 3rd Base With You http://bit.ly/9Sj6e9

    This comment was originally posted on Twitter

  6. Karen Swim July 15, 2010 at 5:24 pm - Reply

    Irene, your post is 100% on target. I wonder if the economy has made people so crazy that they have lost sight of basic etiquette. Sadly, while people use these tools to gain business their tactics hinder their objectives. These spammy tactics do nothing but turn people off and clutter up their private space. The bottom line is that people want a quick fix. They have been spoiled by free and want the results to be free too but rewards cost – they cost effort and if you’re unwilling to invest in establishing a foundation before you pitch you will not get the results.

    • Irene Koehler July 15, 2010 at 6:34 pm - Reply

      Good question about why people take this approach. My sense is that there have always been spammers – whether it’s cold calls over the phone or spam to my mailbox. Since the internet looks “free,” the barrier to entry is woefully low and many just see the possibility of reaching huge numbers of people easily and cheaply as good business. Ugh.

  7. karenswim July 15, 2010 at 5:25 pm - Reply

    RT @irenekoehler Just Because We’re Social Networking “Friends” Doesn’t Mean I’ll Go To 3rd Base W.. http://bit.ly/aGvMrS

    This comment was originally posted on Twitter

  8. tiddlytwinks July 15, 2010 at 5:29 pm - Reply

    RT @irenekoehler Just Because We’re Social Networking “Friends” Doesn’t Mean I’ll Go To 3rd Base W.. http://bit.ly/aGvMrS

    This comment was originally posted on Twitter

  9. Deb Dorchak July 15, 2010 at 5:33 pm - Reply

    Can you say “Car Salesman”?

    Hi, my name is Deb. Pleasure to meet you, Irene.

    That is all.

  10. jfavreau July 15, 2010 at 5:38 pm - Reply

    RT @karenswim: RT @irenekoehler Just Because We’re Social Networking “Friends” Doesn’t Mean I’ll Go To 3rd Base W.. http://bit.ly/aGvMrS

    This comment was originally posted on Twitter

  11. Ron Hori July 15, 2010 at 6:13 pm - Reply

    Excellent article. Some people just don’t get it that the old style of promoting just doesn’t work anymore. I’m guilty of that past behavior and I’m working to change it – fast.

    • Irene Koehler July 15, 2010 at 6:36 pm - Reply

      Hey, Ron. I have to say that I really applaud your honesty and willingness to take a fresh look at the best way to connect with your target audience. Not only has technology changed, but also has what we expect in terms of privacy and etiquette.

  12. Jeanne Dininni July 15, 2010 at 7:19 pm - Reply

    This is so true, Irene. No one enjoys being taken advantage of. In fact, most of us find it very distasteful. When we connect with a business peer, we want to feel like more than just a prospect or a member of a target market.

    We all have our own professional objectives, and none of us is here to simply serve another person’s business interests. As you’ve said in this post, it’s presumptuous and rude of the other person to think that we are.

    Like all relationships, business relationships take time to build and nurture. Once trust has been established and a mutually satisfying relationship built, we will be far more open to hearing the sales pitch that today sounds abrasive, audacious, and insulting by virtue of its very familiarity – an artificially assumed familiarity that’s out of touch with the reality of the relationship we share, which is practically non-existent at this point.

    Some of these individuals may simply be inexperienced and overly eager to make a sale, while others are completely self-absorbed, insensitive, and uninterested in the needs of the other person. The former group will hopefully learn from its mistakes. The latter likely will not — absent a real epiphany, which happily has been known to happen occasionally. So, here’s to ephiphanies and lessons learned – and when needed, unfriending, unfollowing, and disconnecting.

    Hopefully your post will help illuminate those who think that using social media means using people. The two could hardly be more different.

    So glad Karen Swim shared your post on Facebook!

    • Irene Koehler July 16, 2010 at 2:38 pm - Reply

      Beautifully said, Jeanne. I wish I could say that I was optimistic that my post might change someone’s mind, but you never know. If it helps lead someone to reconsider their approach, then I’m happy.

      I’m also happy that Karen shared the post with her community. I happen to be a big Karen Swim fan from way back!

      • Jeanne Dininni July 17, 2010 at 2:32 pm - Reply

        Thanks so much, Irene. I’m hopeful that your post will accomplish that. If it changes even one person’s mind, that will be a great accomplishment. But, even if it doesn’t, at least you will have helped many who might potentially be taken advantage of by these individuals to understand why they needn’t allow that.

        Karen Swim is also one of my very favorite people! Thought you’d like to know that she shared your post.

  13. knitoneone July 15, 2010 at 9:51 pm - Reply

    RT @IreneKoehler: Just Because We’re Social Networking “Friends” Doesn’t Mean I’ll Go To 3rd Base With You http://goo.gl/fb/tzYXN

    This comment was originally posted on Twitter

  14. IreneKoehler July 15, 2010 at 10:25 pm - Reply

    Just Because We’re Social Networking “Friends” Doesn’t Mean I’ll Go To 3rd Base With You http://ht.ly/2cg9U

    This comment was originally posted on Twitter

  15. whitespider1066 July 15, 2010 at 10:32 pm - Reply

    RT @IreneKoehler: Just Because We’re Social Networking “Friends” Doesn’t Mean I’ll Go To 3rd Base With You http://ht.ly/2cg9U

    This comment was originally posted on Twitter

  16. karavas July 15, 2010 at 10:37 pm - Reply

    RT @IreneKoehler: Just Because We’re Social Networking “Friends” Doesn’t Mean I’ll Go To 3rd Base With You http://ht.ly/2cg9U

    This comment was originally posted on Twitter

  17. thatwoman_is July 15, 2010 at 10:39 pm - Reply

    RT @IreneKoehler: Just Because We’re Social Networking “Friends” Doesn’t Mean I’ll Go To 3rd Base With You http://ht.ly/2cg9U

    This comment was originally posted on Twitter

  18. soenarko July 15, 2010 at 10:44 pm - Reply

    RT @IreneKoehler: Just because we’re Social Networking “Friends” doesn’t mean I’ll go to 3rd Base with you http://ht.ly/2cg9U

    This comment was originally posted on Twitter

  19. DaylightGambler July 15, 2010 at 11:04 pm - Reply

    RT @whitespider1066: RT @IreneKoehler: Just Because We’re Social Networking “Friends” Doesn’t Mean I’ll Go To 3rd Base With You http://ht.ly/2cg9U

    This comment was originally posted on Twitter

  20. Amber Cleveland July 15, 2010 at 11:13 pm - Reply

    What a great analogy. My favorite thing about twitter is getting to know about other people, hearing their insight, and learning new things. I hate it when people try to sell me, link me, friend me, auto-DM me the minute that I follow them. “Those people” make it hard to hear the great people that are out there. I don’t want to miss the good ones because all of the bad ones are in the way.

    • Irene Koehler July 16, 2010 at 10:21 am - Reply

      Amen, Amber! Too far, too fast. Either they lack a true understanding of how to effectively connect with others or they don’t care because it is all a numbers game to them.

      • Kay Ballard March 21, 2011 at 1:20 pm - Reply

        Irene, I think you are exactly right–they somehow don’t understand.

        Twitter can be perplexing to a newbie–so many of them purchase training from people who teach them “clever” tactics like sending DM’s to people who follow them back.

        Like you, I am inclined to unfollow anyone who does this. However, sometimes I relent, because the person behind the errant behavior seems otherwise cool or interesting–just mistakenly engaging in a practice that threatens the new relationship at its very inception.

  21. ambercleveland July 15, 2010 at 11:17 pm - Reply

    RT @IreneKoehler: Just Because We’re Social Networking “Friends” Doesn’t Mean I’ll Go To 3rd Base With You http://ht.ly/2cg9U

    This comment was originally posted on Twitter

  22. SocialNetBible July 16, 2010 at 12:08 am - Reply

    Just Because We’re Social Networking “Friends” Doesn’t Mean I’ll …: Almost Savvy, We are all learning, why not d… http://bit.ly/9PDJOM

    This comment was originally posted on Twitter

  23. KayWhitaker July 16, 2010 at 4:19 am - Reply

    RT @IreneKoehler: Just Because We’re Social Networking “Friends” Doesn’t Mean I’ll Go To 3rd Base With You http://ht.ly/2cg9U

    This comment was originally posted on Twitter

  24. michelledh July 16, 2010 at 10:20 am - Reply

    RT @IreneKoehler: Just Because We’re Social Networking “Friends” Doesn’t Mean I’ll Go To 3rd Base With You http://ht.ly/2cg9U

    This comment was originally posted on Twitter

  25. SarahGriffiths July 16, 2010 at 10:27 am - Reply

    Nice RT @michelledh Via @IreneKoehler Just Because We’re Social Netw.. “Friends”Doesn’t Mean I’ll Go To 3rd Base With You http://ht.ly/2cg9U

    This comment was originally posted on Twitter

  26. ambercleveland July 16, 2010 at 11:02 am - Reply

    RT @IreneKoehler: Just Because We’re Social Networking “Friends” Doesn’t Mean I’ll Go To 3rd Base With You http://ht.ly/2cg9U

    This comment was originally posted on Twitter

  27. LipsitMarketing July 16, 2010 at 11:15 am - Reply

    RT @IreneKoehler: Just Because We’re Social Networking Friends Doesn’t Mean I’ll Go To 3rd Base W/ You http://ht.ly/2cg9U

    This comment was originally posted on Twitter

  28. Ron Amundson July 16, 2010 at 11:19 am - Reply

    Ok, so drive by sales wont happen with you, me, or likely the commentors here on this blog. Otoh drive by sales do occur, and they do so at a statistically significant number to make it worthwhile to do so.

    In effect drive by folks are casting a wide net, and looking for those susceptible to drive by sales. For example, if a person is susceptible to a drive by sale from salesperson A… then if salesperson A puts on a mask to be salesperson C,D,E, and F with different products, they will likely have sales as well. Get rick quick schemes seem to propagate in the same fashion.

    If I put the shoe on the other foot though… just as the scammers filter for marks, we filter for folks we can trust often for mutual benefit. In a lot of ways, perhaps we are not all that different.

    • Irene Koehler July 16, 2010 at 2:48 pm - Reply

      Unfortunately, you are right, Ron. As long as these practices net results (however small the rate of conversion), they will continue.

  29. jfavreau July 16, 2010 at 1:37 pm - Reply

    RT @irenekoehler Just Because We’re Social Networking “Friends” Doesn’t Mean I’ll Go To 3rd Base W.. http://bit.ly/aGvMrS

    This comment was originally posted on Twitter

  30. Tempusgroup July 16, 2010 at 2:02 pm - Reply

    Just Because We’re Social Networking “Friends” Doesn’t Mean I’ll Go To 3rd Base With You | Almost Savvy http://bit.ly/9p0pDf

    This comment was originally posted on Twitter

  31. ArtseyC July 16, 2010 at 2:34 pm - Reply

    I’m a Gemini & I like walks on the beach. –> Find out from @IreneKoehler why this is not enough: http://ht.ly/2cg9U

    This comment was originally posted on Twitter

  32. IreneKoehler July 16, 2010 at 3:01 pm - Reply

    Love it! RT @ArtseyC I’m a Gemini & I like walks on the beach. -> Find out from @IreneKoehler why this is not enough: http://ht.ly/2cg9U

    This comment was originally posted on Twitter

  33. bethweisberg July 16, 2010 at 3:10 pm - Reply

    From @IreneKoehler: Just Because We’re Social Networking “Friends” Doesn’t Mean I’ll Go To 3rd Base With You http://bit.ly/djdpg1

    This comment was originally posted on Twitter

  34. SterlingHope July 16, 2010 at 4:05 pm - Reply

    RT @IreneKoehler: Just Because We’re Social Networking “Friends” Doesn’t Mean I’ll Go To 3rd Base With You http://ht.ly/2cg9U

    This comment was originally posted on Twitter

  35. sue_anne July 19, 2010 at 4:17 pm - Reply

    RT @irenekoehler Just Because We’re “Friends” Doesn’t Mean I’ll Go To 3rd Base With You http://bit.ly/aGvMrS

    This comment was originally posted on Twitter

  36. IreneKoehler July 20, 2010 at 1:10 pm - Reply

    RT @Tempusgroup: Just Because We’re Social Networking “Friends” Doesn’t Mean I’ll Go To 3rd Base With You | Almost Savvy http://bit.ly/9p0pDf

    This comment was originally posted on Twitter

  37. jimconnolly July 20, 2010 at 1:11 pm - Reply

    RT @IreneKoehler “Just Because We’re Social Networking “Friends” Doesn’t Mean I’ll Go To 3rd Base With You” http://bit.ly/9p0pDf

    This comment was originally posted on Twitter

  38. WhyGoGreece July 20, 2010 at 1:36 pm - Reply

    Just Because We’re Social Networking “Friends” Doesn’t Mean I’ll Go To 3rd Base With You http://bit.ly/djdpg1 via @AddToAny

    This comment was originally posted on Twitter

  39. virtualpartner July 20, 2010 at 2:40 pm - Reply

    Just Because We’re Social Networking “Friends” Doesn’t Mean I’ll Go To 3rd Base With You http://ow.ly/2duuZ

    This comment was originally posted on Twitter

  40. ChumpDump July 20, 2010 at 2:46 pm - Reply

    @IreneKoehler Just Because We’re Social Networking “Friends” Doesn’t Mean I’ll Go To 3rd Base With You http://ow.ly/2edje * RIGHT ON!

    This comment was originally posted on Twitter

  41. mizmendelson July 27, 2010 at 11:26 am - Reply

    Just Because We’re Social Networking “Friends” Doesn’t Mean I’ll Go To 3rd Base With You http://bit.ly/djdpg1 via @AddToAny

    This comment was originally posted on Twitter

  42. Huxley July 27, 2010 at 4:51 pm - Reply

    Why authenticity & relevance are still ‘the bomb’. @IreneKoehler talks social etiquette http://bit.ly/a7d0ZU (via @mizmendelson)

    This comment was originally posted on Twitter

  43. IreneKoehler July 27, 2010 at 7:00 pm - Reply

    @Huxley @mizmendelson Hey there! Thanks for sharing my 3rd base post. Happy to know it resonated with you. http://bit.ly/a7d0ZU

    This comment was originally posted on Twitter

  44. hcrecruit July 28, 2010 at 1:10 pm - Reply

    RT @irenekoehler Just Because We’re Social Networking “Friends” Doesn’t Mean I’ll Go To 3rd Base W.. http://bit.ly/aGvMrS

    This comment was originally posted on Twitter

  45. CarlosHernandez August 4, 2010 at 7:06 am - Reply

    @AnnEvanston Anti DM 2 RT @irenekoehler Just Because We’re Social Networking “Friends” Doesn’t Mean I’ll Go To 3rd Base http://bit.ly/aGvMrS

    This comment was originally posted on Twitter

  46. Kate Carruthers January 24, 2011 at 3:29 am - Reply

    but gimme a little kiss anyway 😉

  47. Rod Rodriguez July 6, 2011 at 9:19 pm - Reply

    This is definitely something I can relate with, Irene. The worst part is, they initiate by sending me a message on facebook with a pretty face on the profile picture. Who can turn down a pretty face? Well, after being subjected to countless ‘Hi Rod! Can we be friends?’ messages, it’s become a lot easier for me to tell which is advertising crap and which is real. In fact, this is nothing new. How many times have you watched a TV show only to realize it’s nothing but a glorified infomercial? Everyone is selling something these days, at the expense of those who are not buying. I agree with Amber Cleveland in that the rotten tomatoes make it hard to find the ripe ones.

  48. Noel July 7, 2011 at 2:00 am - Reply

    With so many messages like that I receive online, I am discouraged to reply to people I don’t know. I feel like talking to a machine with a script which is very disappointing. These kind of selling techniques are making a bad image to the company who uses them. I agree with Irene, I think they should at least make us feel they really want to talk and listen to us.

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