LinkedIn: No Good Reason At All

This is the 3rd and final time that I’m going to do this… I’m sure of it this time, especially since I spend the vast majority of my time blindly accepting requests for no good reason at all.

Seriously though… what the fuck am I doing?!

And…! If your last few visits to LinkedIn have been anything similar to the experience of logging in to only Accept new connection requests flippantly, then, perhaps you should seriously consider moving on from LI as well.

Honestly, I feel pretty ashamed that I’ve kept this third attempt up for this long, especially when one considers my public thoughts surrounding LinkedIn, like this and this, and I’ve had my own replacement for a bit of time via my own CV:

I guess it’s not as blue looking as LinkedIn.

I’ve attempted to “curate” it and force it to find a place within my own larger digital universe but it simply never made much sense.

Let’s do this.

The only real misgiving that I have is the fact that I will no longer be able to quickly, easily, and stealthily sleuth around someone’s professional history before I meet them, which is something that I’ve become less reliant on over time (and I’ve never felt super-great about that strategy and tactic).

A few reasons for this:

  1. I do not fundamentally trust LinkedIn… or rather, I don’t trust what I read on LinkedIn as being accurate nor updated as most folks do not intentionally keep their profiles relevant.
  2. The culture around LinkedIn is one that promotes anything and everything but authenticity – puff pieces are everywhere, either directly in-stream or in and on the profile level. It’s subtle and nearly-impossible to filter through the rampant bullshit. I think LinkedIn makes liars out of a lot of us (and we know it).
  3. I am enjoying more and more the process of real discovery with the individual that I’m getting to know, especially in a 1-on-1 conversation over a meal or coffee. I especially like how I no longer have to “fake” surprise when I learn something about them that I secretly read about them a few minutes prior to their arrival.

All of this makes me feel disingenuous at best, willfully deceitful at worst! It all leaves a terrible taste in your mouth, if you give it enough thought.

There are more than enough great “networking” services out there and with the growing proliferation of more social platforms and professional networks I think most people will find a life without LinkedIn a clear net-positive.

I’m not sad.

I’m in the process of killing a few other social services as well and I can’t wait to finish out 2019 super-trim.

I played the LinkedIn “game” and I lost… or did I win? Who cares.

I am the boss… and I say, goodbye!

I took a moment to ping a few folks about this decision and get their feedback – what’s interesting is that I could easily bucket the types of responses into two groups:

  1. Surprised: This group was entirely supportive and most of them were surprised to hear that I still had an active account! These folks know me pretty well and so this reaction and response was not surprising.
  2. Concerned: This group asked a ton of follow-up questions, the most common one was regarding future employment and the possibility that not having a LinkedIn profile would effectively “close doors” or minimize my chances of finding the next gig. Two things: This group of folks did not know me as well (just casual colleagues, peers) as the other group and I think some of the folks were projecting a bit of their own insecurity at the thought of not having an account.

My response to the second group was pretty simple and I was able to boil it down to this gist:

At this point, my career is entirely predicated on the quality of my existing relationships, not based on clever tooling or professional social networking platforms. My relationships > everything.

And this has been the case for nearly the last decade – all of the best opportunities that I’ve been able to seriously consider have been born out of existing relationships or super-warm, quality introductions, as it should be!

As I look upon my professional history via my CV, things really started to be based more on my relationships than my so-called résumé starting as back in 2006-2008, where I began to intentionally invest in building my relationship network as well as my technical skills.

It’s been fantastic ever since and LinkedIn has almost contributed zero value since. This was a long-time coming.

What in the serious fuck. … … …!

It didn’t take but a hot minute for me to get another invitation from this damn social network!

What in the.

Okay, so, one more time…?

I thought I did when I quit…