Networking on social media sites – a sham

December 19, 2011
cAs I sat to write today, I realised it has been almost two weeks since I penned my thoughts as I was tied up at work more than I could help. Neither did I follow networkers nor checked mails. Worse still felt guilty as I didn’t tune in to any new channels on TV either.  However, thanks to the wisdom literature I’m chewing on of late, I looked at the half-full portion of my glass. And realised that I learnt quite a few valid lessons.
Here are a few…
Off from facebook gives you space to think about yourself .
Off from twitter gives you ample time to form your own opinion about subjects you love and not tow others viewpoints.
Not checking your emails is not suicidal. Any earth-shattering news will be delivered on your phone anyways.
Not tuning in to news bulletin will leave you less stressed and less depressed.
As I was reveling in the feel-good endorphins released by the two-week hiatus, one of my family friends came in singing praises of LinkedIn.  It’s worth spending time on LinkedIn; I got several new leads; It’s the forum for serious professionals…
Even before I could debate its necessity in my head, I was half-way through thinking of a login name. Old habits die hard.
No sooner I keyed in my job details than a list of ‘people you might know’ appeared on the side. Curious enough, I browsed to see my everyday colleagues and acquaintances stare at me.
Spent a few minutes more and discovered the professional networking link is yet another mockery of a platform. Majority of those I knew are upper management. Reporters are editors; clerks are managers; assistants are managing a team of not less than10.
There are several ‘experienced journalists’, ‘experienced administrators’, ‘experienced sales executives’… with no job profiles mentioned – now how do you define ‘experienced’?
I also learnt some bitter truths…a few diploma holders are in the upper echelons while some post-graduates are way lower at their respective workplace hierarchy.
What a sham, if potential employers were to scan LinkedIn accounts of jobseekers. Gosh.
Being a professional for about 15 years; being on facebook for almost two years and on twitter for a decent while, I conclude thus…
Truth No1: Be it workplace or networking sites making your presence felt is what matters.
Truth No2: Serious networkers will have ‘real human contacts’ not ‘friends’ on social networking sites.
Truth No3: Maximum response on facebook will be on your personal pictures; followed by YouTube videos. Replies to any serious discussion or suggestions will be only ‘like’.
Truth No4: twitter accounts are to follow celebrities and compete with ‘fellow friends’ on other sites in breaking that bit of ‘newssips’.
Truth No5: Take professional details on LinkedIn with a spoon full of salt.

I admit social networking sites have, indeed, played key roles in raising social awareness in the recent past so much so governments are spending sleepless nights trashing out counter-ideas. But, herein again I see a trend. Only a social cause or celebrity posts will get mass response. A common man who sincerely wishes to network to enrich himself will find few true friends in the virtual world.

Nisha Sanjeev

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