The rise in popularity of semi-professional social networks has led to a large number of digital version of paper tigers. Just to be clear, by a paper tiger I refer to someone who artificially inflates his or her online profile to make it appear more impressive than it is in reality.
This is no different than people who exaggerate on their resumes and interviews. However now the digital profiles are the norm and they are ah, so easy to manipulate and inflate. On a similar note, some folks are obsessed with getting connected with every living soul they can find. The whole networking thing is becoming a confused spaghetti of friends, colleagues, people you actually know and folks who are”friends” of acquaintances of someone who has exchanged a few emails with you. A senior executive I know refuses to use linkedin.com because he is afraid that he will offend someone by ignoring their connection request!
Anyway back to the trend of inflated online profiles – I have stopped taking these things seriously because after you meet a few of these people you realize that it can be a lot of hype and marketing. Instead of taking these profiles at face value, just keep in mind that there is some variance and self-promoters will use all tools to their advantage. This is just something which happens as the current networks have very little trust built in the system. You are what you claim to be and that is it.