Dan and Jane return after a very long hiatus. Inspired by Marlene’s terrific post and the impassioned discussion that it began amongst friends.
Jane: Dan! I haven’t seen you forever. How have you been?!
Dan: I’m sorry. Do I know you?
Jane: It’s me, Jane. We used to do 3 Geeks Point/Counter-point posts a couple of years ago? You were the blowhard gasbag that was wrong about absolutely everything!
Dan: Oh! And you were the ignorant fool who incessantly contradicted me! Yes, I remember now. How have you been?
Jane: I’m well, I’m well. Got promoted since we last talked.
Dan: Well, that makes sense, you do work in a law firm, right?
(Both laugh knowingly.)
Jane: I’m now the Chief Director of Innovative Solutions and Catering. You know how things are, the firm is consolidating roles. I think I’ve got a new card in here somewhere. Let me see…
Dan: Oh, don’t bother. I don’t use business cards. I’ll look you up on LinkedIn.
Jane: No, no, no. It doesn’t work that way! This is a time honored tradition. I give you a card. You give me a card. A bond is formed and we are connected.
Dan: That’s stupid. Then what do you do with all of the cards you collect?
Jane: I send LinkedIn invites to each of the people I meet and then throw away the card.
Dan: I thought you were one of those eco-terrorists, hell bent on saving the planet one tree at a time.
Jane: My cards are made of sustainable bamboo pulp, thank you very much!
Dan: I bet that costs a fortune.
Jane: It’s not cheap, but some things are worth paying more for.
Dan: At my suggestion, we did away with business cards entirely last year. No one gets them. We save about $800 per person per year.
Jane: But what does your firm lose in the process?
Dan: A lot of cards in the landfill?
Jane: No, you moron, in terms of good will and business relationships?
Jane: Look, when I give you a card, I am symbolically giving you something of myself. I am quite literally trusting you with my personal identification. I am saying this is who I am and I want to share it with you. And then, you reciprocate. That creates a bond, a momentary relationship that cannot be ignored, whereas a LinkedIn invite actually has an ignore button.
Dan: It does? Why would they do that? The point of LinkedIn is to have as many contacts as possible. I am currently in second place in my group.
Jane: You are why they have an ignore button.
Dan: So if I take your stupid card and send you a LinkedIn invite, will you accept?
Jane: Are you asking because you want to cement our bond?
Dan: No, I’m just three contacts behind the guy in first place.
Jane: Then no.