i’ve come to hate this word when used as a verb

yes, there can be benevolent connotations,
talk of common goals and connections

but the term “networking” is too sterile

it brings to mind
plastic smiles and limp handshakes
sound bytes and empty promises

i have no need for these

do not call sincere conversation
made over genuine connection “networking”

do not call the search for new
friendship, partnership, love “networking”

do not call honest relationship-building “networking”

i believe in being succinct, concise
i believe there are times when it is best to use few words

but that word has been infected
by the shallow way some have practiced it

and i’d rather use more words
than use a word that makes it sound
like people are using each other

we are not.

the word does not do justice
to people
being human

the word
makes me