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Linked Out

*** WARNING: NO POKER CONTENT ***

Over the last few months, I've periodically received random emails from friends both close (in time, relationship and distance) and far, all asking me to Link them up on the website Linked In. At first, the request came from an illustrious blogger, and I asked him what it was all about, since I was not used to his real life name. When he told me it was a networking site, I decided to play along and set up my account. I did not, however, do anything with it. I just left it mostly blank with my one connection (to that blogger) and left it alone.

A week or two later, a completely unrelated friend sent me a request to Link on the Linked In website. Well, shit, I already set the account, and if my friend wants to link up on some random website, who am I to argue. So, I clicked the necessary hyperlinks and soon I had two friends linked up.

A few days later, another friend contacted me to link up on Linked In, and I ended up with three links. At this point, I got a bit curious. All three of these people were from different social circles. Not only did they not know each other, but they were all from different walks of life. So, I took a look, read through a close friend's Linked In profile and decided it was worth filling in my personal information. After all, who knows what could happen? If I get linked through to the right person, there might be some benefit to all this random social linking.

I should mention, I never had a My Space page. While I had a Friendster account (I still get update emails when my "Friendster Friends" change their profiles!), I barely used it. I haven't even loaded up FaceBook or any of the other 100s of networking sites, and I don't intend to do so in the future.

Since that third Linked In request, I received another 6 or so requests, all from random friends and colleagues I've met over my 27 years on this planet. And truth be told, it started to get annoying. Each time I got one, I had two choices: ignore it and slight the person who invited me, or dance like a monkey for the organ grinder. I chose to dance, mostly because the minor annoyance takes all of 1 minute per link and I don't have anything personally against any of these friends inviting me.

But still, as I was opening my email at home, I saw another Linked In invite, and I couldn't help but to groan to wifey Kim. "What is up with this Linked In shit? I mean, is everyone and their sister on this thing?"

"I've been getting requests, too!" wifey Kim responded, also apparently baffled at the popularity and purpose of the website.

"What's the point of it?" I asked, as much to the Gods as to wifey Kim.

"I don't know. People just invited me so I joined."

"Wait. Maybe we should be linked in. I mean, you ARE my wife!"

"I'll send you an invite."

And so, we became linked. But the question still remains, What is the point of these networking sites? Its not as though an employer or potential client is going to go to Linked In and search through 6 degrees of people to find lil ole me when he is looking to hire a new attorney. Its not as though I want to meet up with old forgotten friends and acquaintences.

Admittedly, I'm not the best at keeping in touch. I'm just so focused on the here and now that if you were yesterday, I am not desperately seeking you out. That is not to suggest that I don't have close relationships with people. I merely mean that when those relationships dissolve or become estranged over time, I'm accepting of the changing cast that is life. If I like you and you are accessible, I'll keep in touch with you. If I don't like you, I don't give a shit about keeping in touch. If I like you but you are moving to Timbuktu, I'll keep in touch via email or whatever, but unless we are close, I am not going to worry about you while you are so far away. I'll gladly meet up when you get back though.

So, what the hell is the point of Linked In or any of these sites? Maybe the real question is what is in it for me, a guy in a set job who does not care to reconnect with past acquaintences unless I am doing the effort (as opposed to unexpected invites on Linked In that result in zero actual interaction with long lost acquaintences).

Are we truly just lambs to slaughter? Do we just move like herded sheep? I guess so. After all, I went out of my way to link in with my wife, even as we discussed the stupidity of the damn site.

Any opinions? I'm baffled.

posted by Jordan @ 12:34 PM,

3 Comments:

At 10:20 AM, Blogger StB said...

I would say Linked In is basically what you will make of it. You may be comfortable in your job or house or life now, but somewhere down the line, your situation may change. It is good to know friends that know friends to get information when the time comes.

I believe that is how Chilly got his new job. Met up with some old friends from LI. Not positive but I believe that was the start of it.

 
At 3:01 PM, Blogger SirFWALGMan said...

ya i think it is primarily a business "friends" link kinda thing.. so when your looking you can beg everyone you know.. good stuff..

 
At 12:02 AM, Blogger KajaPoker said...

I have 94 people in my contacts list and 11,400 friends of friends. I have never used this thing, not even once.

It is usually used by headhunters, I think.

 

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