Question: What do LinkedIn and printing your resume on a dead prostitute's leg instead of paper have in common?
Answer: Neither will get you a job.
I can count on my hand the number of times I've lost a finger. (twice) I can count on all the books that Kylie Jenner has ever read the number of times LinkedIn has been of use to someone looking for career advancement. (zero)
A few years ago, someone thought, "I'm going to start a porn site. Oh, but there won't be any actual porn on the site. Rather, you can network with other people who are also on the site looking for porn. And you'll be able to track each other, to see who is looking for porn. We'll also put a few people on the site who do have access to porn. But you won't be able to get in touch with those people." Then, right before the website's launch, this person thought, "Eh, I'll just change porn to jobs." And LinkedIn was introduced. Coincidentally, they also came up with the same idea for infidelity and called the site AshleyMadison.
Aside from dating and karate sites, I don't trust any dot com that charges a fee. Facebook is a multi-billion dollar company, with close to eight employees, and yet it has managed to make money without gouging a subscription fee out of its users. And that's because when you're on Facebook, you're the product. You're also the product on LinkedIn. And yet LinkedIn still charges you money to obtain the contact information of the people you might actually want to contact. It's like getting charged twenty bucks a month to sit through GEICO commercials.
Would you invest your money with a stockbroker who had a face tattoo? Would you use an accountant with a Hitler moustache? Probably not. (Though, in fairness, my friend Mitch the stockbroker tattooed "Invest In Apple" on his neck right before the company hit it big.) Then why are you trusting something as serious as your career to a website that makes its money off of people desperate for a job? It's like those theater companies in Los Angeles that charge out-of-work actors a fee for performing in their plays. This ain't where the big Hollywood agents are looking for talent. And the employers offering the great jobs don't need to be on LinkedIn. Oops- spoke to soon. Steven Spielberg just added me as a connection. Eh, I guess I'll accept.
To quote my friend Nancy, "Even if LinkedIn were to fold, I think they'd still find a way to spam me twenty times a day." (I just endorsed her for a skill: snarkiness.)
LinkedIn is a website for people looking for a job to network with other people looking for a job. It's like a crack house where nobody has any crack. Things are about to get ugly.
Like, I get that privacy is dead. But how come LinkedIn is privy to everyone I've ever sent an email? Was LinkedIn part of the Patriot Act? It's bad enough I sent that awkward "I really like you" email to the woman I met at a bar twelve years ago, who then never wrote back. But now I have to be reminded of all my humiliating failures on my LinkedIn's People You May Know section? (Oh, hey, she's a senior associate at a pharmaceutical company in Denver now. Well good for her.)
Speaking of which...
I understand that I don't understand LinkedIn. But there is simply no way some random person from high school I haven't spoken to in fifteen years is "endorsing" me for some arbitrary skill that I may or may not possess. This is a scam, right? I mean, five years ago, the last thing my ex-girlfriend said to me was, "I never want to see you again." And now she's endorsing me for "Content Strategy?" What the fuck is Content Strategy?! Hey, do you think this is her way of trying to get back together?
But I won't look at her LinkedIn profile. Because on LinkedIn, you can see who looked at your profile. I don't want people to know I'm looking at their profile. Heck, if I wanted people to know I was stalking them, I'd just write to the Tanning Mom directly. Oh, but I think you can hide your viewing habits if you pay the special premium fee, just like how the school bully charges you a "protection fee."
I've written to three LinkedIn "connections." They didn't write back. Did they actually see my messages? Who the hell knows? Mostly, I get messages from people asking me to help them. I feel it's rude not to respond to someone who has taken the time to write. But I feel kind of bad about telling them I really can't help them, and then asking if they can help me. Ah, LinkedIn is like life; we're all is this crapfest together.
I tried getting in touch with a successful media personality who, days earlier, accepted my connection request. But I was unable to send this person a message. A more accurate name for LinkedIn would be ShutOut.
Let's face it. We're all on LinkedIn for the same reason. Some jerky friend encouraged us to join. "It's a great way to network. Just take a few sips. Be cool." And like the social media sheep that we are, we signed up without giving it much thought. Plus, I mean, our headshot looks great.
And now we're limped in. And we forget about it. I mean, technically, I think I still have a membership to Blockbuster Video. But then, out of the blue, we get an endorsement or a profile view or a personal message or some pseudo-important announcement. And we get excited- thinking that some total stranger is specifically targeting you for this amazing dream job. Then our excitement quickly takes a sucker punch to the jaw, as we're confronted with the obvious truth; LinkedIn doesn't care about you.
Join me in standing up to LinkedIn. Let's send a message to the giant corporate tech companies. Let them know that they can't control us any longer. Technology's pointless existence does not, by definition, make it a necessity. We don't need Google Glass. We don't need an iWatch. And nobody is advancing their career through LinkedIn.
Unfortunately, we can't cancel our membership to LinkedIn. The site is far too confusing to figure out how to do that. But we can stop using it. Stop updating and endorsing and messaging. If we pretend it doesn't exist, maybe it will just go away on its own, like how the teenagers got rid of Freddy Krueger in the first Nightmare On Elm Street movie... I mean, before he came back.
And if LinkedIn disappears, maybe it'll finally stop spamming us... in about 10 years.