Thursday, January 19, 2017

Linking Out

So this week I shut down my Linked In Profile.

Linked In, to those who may not know, is a social networking website primarily designed for the business world.  People essentially list a version of their resume - with work history, education, certifications, publications, etc. - and then "link" with other individuals.  It is really a sort of Facebook for the business world.  For the most part people keep politics and most personal things off of it.

It was a benign membership.  It never really brought me any grief.  One could occasionally follow up on previous coworkers to see where they had ended up and and what they were doing.

So why, you are asking, would I have discontinued such a thing?  A combination of reasons"

One, a call today from an organization whose certification I no longer use and let expire but who is wanting me to come back (with the fee, of course).  Old business left unfinished  always returns.

Two, a realization that it was not really contributing anything to my life at all.  People create their profiles either to sell themselves or to sell something to someone else.  In that sense, it has none of the merits of a social network such as Facebook.  Even friends only discuss business on it, if at all.  Is that really something that adds value to my life?

Third, I have never really benefited from it (to be sure, I have not "used" it to its full potential).  No jobs ever came through it. Occasional recruiters trying to sell me (or drop you just as quickly) or sales people really trying to sell me.  And articles which, if I were really interested, I could find somewhere else.

Fourth, it was just another beacon to someone, another easy way to gather a fair amount of information about me without making them work at all. Why leave myself that exposed in public?

It will be a trial run, of course - you have 20 days to "revive" your profile and I certainly did that with Twitter once or twice before finally cutting the plug.  But, using Twitter as the example, I can already predict the results:  after a week or so of false starts to get updates and not being able to log in, I will find that I am not missing it at all.

And just like that, a little piece of freedom pops back into my life.  How often does that occur?


DianeF said...

I also cancelled my LinkedIn profile recently. I received junk emails from companies because of my job title and that was pretty annoying. Then, a new work email address (due to divisional buyout from another company) was added to my profile and I selected the option to 'not publish changes'. To my surprise, my husband (also a LinkedIn user) received an update saying I had a new job. So much for privacy. When I went to cancel my account, it was very confusing and took me awhile to figure out, but eventually I was able to get free of this crappy site. I'm sure they're still selling my info but hopefully it will go away.

Toirdhealbheach Beucail said...

Wow, that sounds awful. I never had to deal with that level of annoyance. I had also checked my "not publish changes" but never really followed up on if it took in the general public. I also agree with confusing cancellation instructions; I assume it is meant to be that way (after all, why would you want to leave?).

I will be interested for myself to see if this makes any direct impact on my career, good or bad. At this point, I suspect no impact at all.

Thanks for stopping by! - TB