I am growing weary of all this social media silly talk about trust and friendship as it applies to professional collaboration online. I have online “friends” in my knitting community and my travel community, for example, but my professional networks do not yield friendships in the real, down-and-dirty, share a beer or drive me to the airport at 5am kind of way.
The rules of engagement for professional networks are different. The presumption of trust and the goals of achieving trustful relationships on professional networks should be reexamined. The current model of striving for trust online in professional settings is fundamentally unachievable. Nothing in the world will replace a good old-fashioned face-to-face handshake or a business dinner, where stories can be shared and the gritty nuances of the project and the politics are revealed. This is how professional trust and intimacy develops.