Beth Cook is a dating coach and wing-woman who throws private dating events for San Francisco’s most awesome and unattached. She also writes and draws about her own dating experiences and would love to hear from you. Want advice? Have advice? Send her an email.

The LinkedIn world is a peculiar one. It's the one social network where people think it's totally normal to connect with complete strangers, ex-lovers, spark-less Internet dates, and friends of ex's.

I've recently received connection requests on LinkedIn by one of each of these folks. That got me thinking about how the networks with which we chose to connect say a lot about our relationships there.

Here's what it basically means to connect with someone via Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn.

Friending on Facebook means "I want to lurk through your photos."

Facebook is for keeping tabs on high-school chums and frenemies, researching whether the people you have crushes on are single and/or worth pursuing, and comparing the "fun" in your life to the "fun" in other people's lives.

Following on Twitter means "I think you're cool."

Twitter is for keeping up with the popular kids. It's for getting close to people you don't have real-world access to. A follow means someone thinks you're cool, smart, interesting, funny, relevant, etc. Take it as a compliment.

Connecting on LinkedIn means "I want something from you."

LinkedIn is for people who don't want to creep you out by friending you on Facebook, yet want to keep in touch. Just in case—you can get them a job, introduce them to someone prominent, or they someday get divorced.

LinkedIn can also be used for extending an olive branch. When my ex-lover requested a "connection" with me, I took it as "I'm sorry for disappearing on you." At least I hope that's what he meant… There is no way in hell I'm going to do PR for his company or write him an endorsement.

There you have it. No need to do much wondering about where you stand with someone. Just let the medium in which you connect do all the talking.

Photo by webtreats