I don’t know who you are or what you do …

A friend of mine was so unhappy with some unwanted emails, he called me to express his frustration. The essence of his message is below:

“I don’t know who you are or what you, do so please stop sending me emails like I should. We are all very busy trying to do our jobs, and while I respect your intentions, you are messing up my day. I try to be kind to everyone, but I also reserve levels of response based on the depth of my relationships to the senders.

“While it is interesting that you are going to Las Vegas next week for a show to get ideas for another client, it has no relevance for me. Even if we are “CONNECTED” via LinkedIn, it doesn’t mean that we are “FRIENDS.” I see that your message was not even sent by you directly, thus not giving me the opportunity to send you this directly. You also need to give me the chance to opt out of receiving your “acting like we’re friends” messages. Haven’t you heard of spam and respecting my privacy?”

Apparently, this caused enough angst that my buddy went so far as to look up the website of the sender to make sure it did not have relevant ties to him, personally or professionally.

Do you think he overacted? 

What types of messages are appropriate for LinkedIn connections when all someone is trying to do is to fish for business?