Have you noticed how many writers here on LinkedIn and other platforms are tagging others, either at the beginning of their article or in it?
I know the reason is often to alert their network to an article they’ve written that they might not otherwise see, given the limitations of LI’s platform (and probably all the others). Just because we’re first-degree connections doesn’t automatically mean we’ll see your posts, right? I mean, given we could have 30,000 first-degree connections on LinkedIn, it would be impossible to see everything, even if we were on LI 24/7/365.
And not all first-degree connections are equal; we do not interact with everyone — we couldn’t.
I have a little more than 7,000 connections, but do I know them all? Are you kidding? I “know” maybe 200, and I’ve exchanged comments and likes with maybe another 500 or so … but even if I can’t reach every connection individually, I hope I’m helping anyone who sees one or more of my posts.
But here’s my point. We all have a little kid inside us — no matter our age then or now — who was sometimes insecure. Who wanted to belong. Who might not have felt a part of anything. Who might have felt apart from everything and everyone.
Who might have been the last kid chosen for team sports. Every. Single. Time.
And of course we’ve grown beyond that … mostly. I say mostly because at my advanced age, I would hope I had completely grown past that feeling of being left out, and I find now and again I haven’t.
When I see just one or two folks tagged, there’s no pain. They’re being tagged for their expertise or their interest in the topic being discussed. It makes sense to tag someone like John White, MBA, for his expertise in social media marketing, Consulting Forensic Arborist Joe Samnik for his expertise in all things tree-related, Sarah Elkins for her story-telling expertise, Lynda Spiegel for her resume-creating skills, Heather Younger, J.D., for her employee-loyalty knowledge, Melissa Hughes, Ph.D. for her knowledge of neuroscience, or Beth Sobiloff for her website-building abilities.
And see? I stopped there, and I can almost guarantee there will be one or two colleagues wondering … why not me? Why not mention MY name? What am I — chopped liver?
Yes, we’re grownups and we’re professionals, but we’re also humans who want to know we belong. Who want reassurance sometimes that we’re not invisible. Who want to be seen as offering value, especially to close first-degree connections, with whom we interact almost every day.
So the next time any of us is thinking we want to tag 30 or more folks … let’s see if we really need to. And let’s be sure we include those with whom we’ve had a lot of conversations and engagements. Those we’re really connected to beyond the tag of first-degree connection. Those who matter both in the virtual world and the real world.
I value your thoughts.
Oh, and back to knowing others: I met about 25 LI colleagues at Sarah Elkins‘ first No Longer Virtual (NLV) conference in 2017 in Atlanta, and I’ll reconnect with most of those and meet new folks at the NLV conference in Atlanta in February 2019. I believe there are only 20 open spots left for that conference — you might want to register NOW so you don’t lose out.
See? Now that’s a good tag, right? 🙂