Let’s face it, LinkedIn can be boiled down to networking on electrons in its purest sense, but it’s more: it creates high energy connectivity with professional people you met, got to know, trust and believe can help you, and you can help them.
Focus on the “social” in social media: being available, consultative, and open to helping others, maybe more than they can help you. That should be your higher moral ground, better than purely collecting people like baseball cards.
Remember that no one is forcing you to connect with someone you don’t want to, you don’t feel right with, seems odd for any reason, or you just don’t want to “let them into the front door of your house,” a metaphor I use to determine if I will connect to someone and feel I could trust them enough.
You’ve read my suggestions here how to best send a connection request: warm and pointed, with mutual optimism as its essence? Good. Keep it up.
And once connected, on-board then with an article directly helpful to them. They should return the favor in some way, sometime, somehow.
No one is saying you have to keep them there, warehoused, if you can’t contribute to them and/or them to you.
I use the daily opportunity to review work anniversaries (and birthdays if you allow them to appear in your feed-I don’t) to assess if that person should remain a connection. And you know how to disconnect, right? Good. Keep it up.
Now please think carefully and perfect the middle part–beyond the on-boarding referred to above–keeping valued connections interested in you. You know how to do that too, right? Good. Keep it up.
Extra tip: a work anniversary is every way as good an opportunity to reconnect, congratulate, and update a relationship you think is worthy of nurturing, as it is to cull out the others who are not meant to be great connections.