How not to join an online (or offline) conversation

Imagine you’re sitting in a coffee shop, talking with a friend when you make a reference to an inside joke between the two of you about how you swore you could put windshield wipers on your own car but in reality, it’s not as easy as you remember. Then, right as you mention windshield wipers,  a stranger from the table next to you scoots themselves right up to your table and starts to sell you wiper blades.

Yes, it was semi-relevant to what you and your friend were talking about, but still, someone just joining your conversation like that is rather off-putting, whether it happens in a public place like a coffee shop or on a public forum, like Twitter. The latter happened to me the other day and it inspired me to write this post. Continue reading