An alert goes off on your phone and you see that you have a friend request from someone you don’t know. You have three options: accept the request, decline the request or ignore the request. So, what should you choose?
If you accept it, it could lead to something great or something really bad. You could meet someone that has a great connection that helps you in the long run; whether it be work or personal related. However, there is always the chance that if you do accept it you run into a problem of someone who is soliciting, stalking or bothering you. Yes, there’s an easy out you can just unfriend them, but what if they got the information that they were looking for. There are a few ways to make sure you’re accepting and rejecting the right requests.
First, do your research. Same requests, even if you have mutual connections, may be fake. Google search their profile picture to see if it’s been used before on a different profile. Before accepting any request make sure the name and photo match up when you Google search them.
If you’re torn about whether or not to accept the request ask yourself, “Will this connection add to my professional career and fulfill my personal goals?” You need to make sure that their information on their feed is worth your time. If you get annoyed by all of their posts, you’re going to unfriend them in the long run.
Now, what if you’re asking someone you don’t know to connect. This may be because they were referred by a colleague or a friend of a friend but be sure to send them a note. This will clear the air for both parties. If someone told you, “You should totally connect with John because he is working on the same project as you and could be of help!” let John know. Go out of your way to make them feel comfortable with the random request and tell them who referred you to them and why.