I’m just going to go ahead and say what we’re all thinking: LinkedIn is the worst. It’s the social media equivalent of going to the dentist. We all put it off way too long (or just plain forget about it), it can be downright painful, and when it isn’t, it feels like a complete waste of time. But just like the dentist (man, I really need to make an appointment…), you need regular checkups with LinkedIn if you’re going to keep from deteriorating.
Although it’s hard to imagine anyone who thinks, “Oh goodie! Another networking mixer at that overpriced bar!”, it’s time we admit that it’s all about who you know. And in a city that’s constantly evolving , it’s nearly impossible to be professionally complacent, let alone satisfied.
Having just been hired at a new job myself, I’m still scouring the city for my next professional opportunity. This means making use of every occasion to meet new people, pump them for information, and take advantage of their resources.
This also means cross-referencing every application with LinkedIn in the hope that I know someone who knows someone. Enter dream job application #6493. After a quick search, guess who’s daddy turns out to be the CFO of the company? You guessed it: the bass-playing, long-haired, artist-turned-corporate old flame that I’d rather pretend never happened.
By far, the creepiest thing about LinkedIn is being notified about who’s been to your page, and how many times. Compounded with a private message with the subject line, “Hey” sent at 4 a.m., it’s easy to see why networking is such a chore for me and my people: the fabulously charming, accidentally flirtatious, women of the world.
In talking about what makes LinkedIn creepy (seriously man, this isn’t Tinder), let’s not forget what makes it terrible. There’s no act quite as crushing as seeing an old classmate or colleague under “people you may know,” and clicking the link only to discover that they’re thriving professionally, just got promoted, and have a baller headshot.
Don’t misunderstand me. I’m absolutely going to meet this slimeball for drinks. And I’m definitely going to reminisce over a cocktail or two until he gives me the contact information I need, at which point I’ll very pointedly drop the word “girlfriend” into conversation.
But hey, I’m not a complete monster. I’ll pick up the check.
**Originally published on TwentysomethingNYC.com on May 6, 2015**