ghosting

10 October 2019

Halloween’s Around The Corner — Time To Bust A Few Ghosts On Social Media

by Freddy Tran Nager, Founder of Atomic Tango + Guy Who Ain’t Afraid Of No Ghosts; photo by Stefano Pollio on Unsplash…

The business world seems more haunted than ever, with increasing reports of “ghosting” experiences…

  • Employers not responding to job applicants after they interview them.
  • Employees walking off the job without even giving notice.
  • Companies requesting proposals from agencies and consultants, then refusing to return emails and calls.
  • Contractors disappearing from unfinished jobs.
  • And on social networks, so-called “connections” not replying to messages, even though they initiated the connection.

Spooky, right? Gives me the chills just thinking about it.

Whether this is paranormal or abnormal, let’s not make it the new normal. I don’t know how to remedy corporate-level ghosting, other than to call in an exorcist. But on social networks, I strive to banish phantom connections.

It’s simple: If I direct message someone — no sales pitches, of course — and they don’t respond within 30 days, I remove them as a connection. The way I see it, their failure to respond means…

  1. They’re just not that into me. Cool. I’ll just acknowledge and move on from that dead-end relationship. Or…
  2. They don’t like networking — they just like building their “network” size. By definition, they’re what we call in business a “waste of time.” Or…
  3. They are crazy busy and they connected with far too many people and all those freakin’ social media messages are driving them mad. Understood. I’ll just slowly back away. I might stay connected with them in the real world, but will unburden them on social media. Or…
  4. They truly are ghosts.

All these constitute reasons to disconnect and perhaps sprinkle my profile with holy water.

After all, while having a large number of connections can prove valuable, the quality of those relationships matters much more. If you have to hold a séance just to talk with a connection, you’ll likely never work together, and you can never count on them for advice or a referral.

The world is filled with professionals interested in discussing and possibly doing business. Why waste time with the undead when the true spirit of networking is alive and well?

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Freddy is the Founder & Creative Strategist of Atomic Tango. He also teaches graduate-level marketing communication courses at the University of Southern California (go Trojans!), shoots pool somewhat adequately, and herds cats. Freddy received his BA from Harvard and his MBA from USC.

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