James Discovers Social Media

A few years ago I remember reading how women were so much better at multi-tasking than men. I’m never one for those men/women surveys, as they so often generalise when there’s often little gender difference. But today, I’ve come to realise it’s possibly true, and I’ve learned this the hard way.

Mid-morning I was chatting on the phone with a colleague, and at the same time was checking Twitter, and logging in to Linkedin. I’ve never been a huge fan of Linkedin, as I’ve usually associated it with people wanting me to give them jobs without any apparent experience in the media, and with young women from exotic locations looking for other kinds of experience. A few months ago, though I was convinced it was worth re-visiting, as you can often recruit with greater subtlety than you might otherwise find from taking a job ad out in the newspaper.

In the midst of multi-tasking, I realised very quickly that rather than “de-select” 803 people in my contact book who were “potential contacts”, I actually invited them all to be my contacts. Suddenly, I realised I was guilty of the same contact spamming that made me leave Linkedin in the first place!

Within a couple of hours, 50 people had accepted my invitation. By mid-afternoon, it was over 100.  During a fairly serious meeting with a colleague, we both got the giggles, as another connection came through every 60-90 seconds, with alerts on my phone and on my browser.

Blip. “Who’s that?”, she asked me. “Oh, I worked with them in a regional station years ago”.

Blip. “Who’s that?”, she asked me. “Oh, someone I went to school with”.

Blip. “Who’s that?”, she asked “Actually, it’s a one-night stand from about 2005”.

Blip. “And who’s that?”, she asked. “Someone who led a food tour I went on a few years ago,”, told her.

In the hours since, my phone has continued to blip, alerting me to someone else from my past wanting to re-connect or just accepting my invitation. Often they’re people, like the food tour guy, who I’ve only ever sent an email to once.

And now, several hours later, I feel like I’m starting to “game” this, wondering how many of the 803 will accept my invitation. So far, the answer is “well over 100”.

In many ways I feel like a real idiot. I’ve always been quite “careful” around my social media interactions. With Facebook, I have a false identity, and will only connect with friends overseas. With Twitter, I recently changed my handle and went private, as I’ve dealt with a slightly crazy person from my professional past. On Instagram, I only follow Swedish pop stars. On Google+, I carefully use circles. But, as Mumford & Sons once sang in Little Lion Man…

I really fucked it up this time. Didn’t I, my dear?

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