LinkedIn and the Context of Social Media Etiquette

When people kvetch about getting “Generic” connection requests on LinkedIn, I tend to roll my eyes -and not just because I roll my eyes a lot.


The “generic” appearance of these invitations doesn’t bother me. The context of the invite is enough. If that context is lacking (I don’t know the person) or is inappropriate (I have reasons not to want to connect), then I ignore. If it’s a person I already know and want to connect with – the very basis for accepting such a connection – then I don’t care what the invitation says. It could say “Teddy bear Romulus keezer basketball spy” – or some other random nonsense – it really doesn’t matter.


Perhaps LinkedIn will change the way we connect; I suggest removing the default “greeting” altogether, while keeping the option for a customized one. LinkedIn telling me “Bob” wants to connect is enough for me. If the request is warranted, I probably know why anyway.

Stop kvetching. There’s plenty to complain about out there (right?); I don’t think this is one of them.


  1. Sorry Doug. I think I’m one of the kvetchers. I think using the generic invite text makes the inviter look lazy. We’re all busy, but it takes 5 seconds to simply write “Hope you’re doing well. Great seeing you at the bla bla conference last week.”

    We’re making a formal public connection on Linkedin for goodness sake. It’s like a mini-proposal. Have some class.


  2. Doug Haslam

    My issue with the whole thing is:

    1- Some ways of connecting onLinkedIn don’t allow you to see, let alone edit, the greeting you send. So I tend to be forgiving of that.

    2- Most LinkedIn connections are from people I know or have met. If I am expecting the invitation to connect, I have already had the conversation the greeting purports to serve. So again, I have no issue with it.

    If someone I didn’t know tries to connect, I tend not to accept them anyway, so the greeting is for naught- unless it is The Best Greeting Ever.

    That said, I tend to customize the ones I send, if only to wipe out the awkward generic greeting and shorten my first name to “Doug” – that is, when LinkedIn allows me.

    P.S. Let’s not get started on LI’s inability to distinguish between paid gigs and volunteer appointments, sending out unsolicited notes asking people to “congratulate X on his new job.” Yet another bug.

  3. Doug Haslam

    Thank you for your comment

    Chuck Hemann.

    I appreciate all feedback and I or a representative will respond within 48-72 hours.

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