Over the past few days I’ve received a lot of messages via SMS and e-mail from people I don’t know.
I love when that happens.
It’s nice to chat, however briefly, with people who are focused on improving themselves and their world or just have something interesting to say.
On the flip side, I get a significant number of messages like, “hey, what’s up?” from people I’ve never interacted with before. I’m the type of person who generally responds to anybody who gets in contact (eventually, but usually within a day, and sometimes within minutes), but I’m making it a new rule to ignore these messages. They’re a waste of your time and my time. A missed opportunity to connect under the false assumption that pretending to be friends before we’re friends somehow works.
I understand it on some level. We were never taught how to socialize. Some kids picked it up and some didn’t. Those who didn’t either struggled up through adulthood or eventually worked on it. And those who didn’t work on it kept struggling. I can sympathize with that. But I still don’t see the point of the interaction.
Unsolicited advice: if you want to connect with someone …
a) Don’t put them on a pedestal.
b) Don’t pretend you’re friends until you are.
c) Say something of substance that elicits a response. Ask a question. Offer an anecdote.
d) Keep it short.
If you can’t follow that then wait. You don’t need to contact someone just because you can.