Perhaps I am doubtful, leery, or savvy. Who can say?
I speak...of accepting invitations online. Whether these come from Linked In, Connections, Facebook, Red Room, or other places, I think, who is this person? I scour my brain for clues. What do they want from me? Can I trust them? Is this a marketing ploy disguised as a tentative friendship? What are they selling? Or are they coming to me for a handout, a donation, or my signature on a petition? Who, what, why, who, what, why?
I check them out via the google, looking at postings, descriptions, locations, trying to ferret, why are they asking me to friend them, connect, join them, and so on, fill in all the ways we now connect.
My distrust is earned. I have been burned. People I once knew in personality and thought are now names for other people. To quote Joe Walsh in "Life's Been Good", "Everybody's so different, I haven't change." I've been forced to (shudder) defriend people and blocked people from my email.
Sometimes my findings delight me. I don't know what prompted this person to reach out to me, but I like their cyber-being. They are writer, progressive in political leanings, an animal lover.
The organizations which foster these invitations have grown aware of these issues, giving us new outs via 'Ignore for Now' buttons. You don't need to decide. Put it off to later. But then those invites are in there, huddling like small, unwanted animals, and stabbing me with guilt.
In the end, I often succomb and accept, because, although I've been burned, I've often been pleased. You never know what accepting will bring, and why bother worrying about the unknown?
Causes Michael Seidel Supports
Kiva, Women's International League for Peace and Freedom, Propublica.org, Doctors Without Borders, GreaterGood.com