Today’s installment might tick people off.
It may sound downright misanthropic to some.
On the other hand, others may cheer and exclaim “It’s about time!”
Lots Of People Are Totally Blowing It When Introducing People To Each Other On Social Media
For instance: Dave’s private inbox alert goes off, telling him there’s a new message.
He opens it, to find that Martha has added him to a small-group conversation – just Dave, Martha, and some dude named Stewie.
Martha met Stewie at some conference and just (in her mind) *HAD TO* connect Dave and Stewie… you know what we mean.
It reads something like this:
Dave, meet Stewie. Stewie, meet Dave. Stewie is interested in working with you because he needs help designing a new, improved Moribund Frankfurter to sell at his conference in 2 days.
Sounds friendly enough.
Just one huge, instantly deal-breaking problem.
This is the first Dave is hearing of any of this, and now all of a sudden Martha is shoving him into a conversation with Stewie?!!
This Is A Wrong Move, In So Many Ways
Here are just some of the questions Martha should have asked herself BEFORE creating this small-group conversation between Dave and Stewie out of the blue:
- Does Dave want introductions and referrals to go through a specific funnel – like using a scheduler or filling out a questionnaire?
- Even though Stewie said he doesn’t know Dave… does Dave know Stewie?
- If Dave knows Stewie, or knows of Stewie, how so?
- Is Stewie someone Dave is dying to meet, and would be grateful for the introduction?
- Or, does Dave think Stewie is a total ding-dong and has less interest in meeting Stewie than in lobotimizing himself with a butterknife?
- Maybe Stewie is actually, despite his genial appearance to Martha, some wackjob troll on social media who Dave has told off (Stewie might not have the social awareness to realize he got told off, and Dave may have no interest in revisiting or explaining).
- Is Stewie forgetting (or not mentioning) that he and Dave have met before – and the feeling was definitely NOT mutual on Dave’s part, for a specific reason, no matter how impressed Stewie was?
- Similarly, is Stewie someone who is desperately trying to be a client of Dave’s, but Dave recognizes him as toxic and has already brushed him off 18 times? (Hint: Stewie wouldn’t mention to Martha that 6 other people have already referred him to Dave, Dave has already “forgotten to deliver” a proposal 4 times , and then has “not received” Stewie’s 8 follow-ups.)
- Is Stewie someone that Dave finds it necessary to keep his distance from because, nothing personal, but it creates some conflict of interest (a deal Dave is involved in, a deal Stewie is involved in, Dave or Stewie is close friends with someone the other is definitely NOT friends with, so it could be awkward, etc. etc. etc. we could go on, you get the point)?
- Did Stewie or Dave steal the other’s girlfriend back in the day and there’s still bad blood that Stewie didn’t mention?
- Did Stewie go all-in blind on a hand of Texas Hold’Em with an off-suit 4 and 7, then clean Dave’s clock when two 7s came up on the flop and a 4 on the river? Is Dave seeking revenge for this? (Remember how Charles Emerson Winchester III ended up assigned to the 4077th – he won a game of gin against his supervisor in Tokyo, who in turn sent Charles to Korea just to avoid paying Charles his winnings.)
- Has Dave recently said to Martha, “Hey, I’d really like to help design more Moribund Frankfurters, so if you hear of anyone, please, don’t check with me, just send them over!”
- Is Dave looking to take on more Moribund Frankfurter projects right now – or is he swamped, or winding down for the season, or whatever?
- Is Dave still in the Moribund Frankfurter business? (especially if it’s been a while since Dave and Martha have had a chance to catch up!)
- Even if Dave is still in the Moribund Frankfurter business, is he still growing it, or is he just using it as a cash cow while he transitions to a new business making Woofer Widgets?
- Maybe Dave thinks Martha is the cat’s pajamas, but that feeling does not extend to the people she hangs out with or attracts into her orbit? (So therefore, in Dave’s mind, Stewie must be yet another one of those space cadets Martha keeps getting bamboozled by.)
- Is Martha the one trying to side up to Dave, in many of the ways described above – but Dave ain’t having it and has been too polite to point out the hints he’s already given for her to stop introducing him to her friends?
- Is Dave really still on board with whatever Martha and he had discussed before, or do we have two different truths here about the current state of things?
- Is Dave even available for this conversation? (Because if Dave is one of those people who doesn’t check social media all the time, he automatically looks like an ass for taking so long to respond, when he didn’t even know!)
- Does Dave HATE private conversations on social media altogether? (a hint might be if Dave has a known pattern of not responding when people force introductions on him this way)
How many different ways could Martha be seriously screwing this up?!!
She means well, and she views herself as someone who brings the best people together to create great things.
She may say, “well Dave could just say no” – but now he’s forced into the awkward position of saying it directly to Stewie, or brushing him off. Either way he loses.
Martha will carry the weight for this as far as Dave is concerned, because she started it.
All This Could Be Avoided If Martha Had Said One Thing… And Asked One Question
(to Stewie, in wrapping up) “Hey, I think I have your guy to help with that Moribund Frankfurther issue for your event. Let me ping him real quick to make sure this is something he can do.”
(to Dave, a few minutes later) “Dave, I have this guy Stewie who’s looking for help with the Moribund Frankfurter at his conference next weekend. Are you interested? If so, do you want me to put you two guys together to work it out?”
Wow – look how many of the above problems could be solved by Martha saying one thing differently to Stewie, and asking one question of Dave before shoving him in front of Stewie.
Also note how these two simple steps remove almost 100% of the chances that Martha might end up looking bad due to a misunderstanding, or for not knowing something there’d otherwise be no reason for her to have known before.
Has Social Media Made Us Forget How To Introduce People To Each Other?
Oh, and everything we just shared, applies to posting a public note on Stewie or Dave’s wall introducing one to the other.
That just puts them both in an awkward spot.
And, it’s just plain lazy, son.
We can do better than that.