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Graham Roumieu

Looking to connect? Here’s the way to do it politely.

  • For someone from your past: Click the Message button next to “+1 Add Friend” so you can say hello. After she has accepted, it’s nice to catch up with a personal note, says Jodi R. R. Smith, the author of The Etiquette Book: A Complete Guide to Modern Manners ($28, amazon.com). If you don’t have time to do that, why are you reaching out in the first place?
  • For someone you would like to know (for example, a writer whose work you love): Use the message feature to introduce yourself, but don’t be offended if she doesn’t accept. She may want to be friends with, well, only friends.
  • For someone you don’t know at all: Please refrain. Trolling your friends’ lists so you can beef up your numbers is just plain rude.
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