dontI came across a LinkedIn article about how loneliness is pervasive in Business America.

Yes, it’s true.

Judging from the number and quality of unsolicited, boring LinkedIn connection requests I receive, the senders will stay lonely.

They start out with bland connection messages. Worse, they offer nothing to make themselves interesting; rather, they use the default connection request language.

Good. I can quickly chop through them.

Once in a while I can spot that they are involved in an industry I am targeting for additional business or knowledge. I send them back a message (without connecting to them): “Have we met? How can I help you?”

Crickets….rarely if ever do they bother to reply. So my premonition was correct after all, they are not to be a part of the network that is my net worth. I tried. They did not.

Why would I want to connect to someone I do not know, blindly, share my hard-earned connection list and offer my experience and thought to them, when they have taken no time or effort to even customize their introduction to me?

I am reminded of a great article I was given a long time ago that resonates with me often: “No, You Can’t Pick my Brain. It Costs Too Much.” The same goes for a LinkedIn connections, to be treated as valuable privileges.

This privilege concept wrapped in a connection goes both ways. Know your connections. Try to evaluate them ahead of taking the plunge. Be upfront. A colleague has followed my advice to suitors; his advisory in his LinkedIn profile:

It’s very nice to get connection requests. I appreciate the thought, but I generally connect with people who I know or have met, because that’s the point of LinkedIn, as I understand it.

So to all the lonely people, one thought: no one dances with a wallflower, as my father used to say.

Be interesting from your initial contact and perhaps, just perhaps, you can make something more from that connection request.