Goodbye, LinkedIn, You Were Boring & Useless

gregoryluce-avvo-profile

Hey, wanna connect?

I deleted my profile on LinkedIn. This follows deleting my Facebook account a few years ago. I deleted Facebook because I thought it was creepily cloying, excessively memish, and a waste of time. I deleted LinkedIn because it was boring and useless and increasingly annoying. I’m actually surprised I let it hang around with me for so long.

But my story with LinkedIn is probably like yours, or maybe a bit like other professional and slightly introverted web netters like me. A few years back, say 2008 or so, there were three primary choices for engaging in social media: Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn. Facebook was decently well-established and growing fast, doubling its users from 50 million to 100 million  between 2007 to 2008 (it now has over 1 billion screen people). Twitter was relatively new and seen as the exciting up-and-comer, though people—especially lawyers—still scratched their heads about a service that provided excellent updates on what was digested for breakfast.

LinkedIn, though, was the “safe” choice, the one for “professionals” to engage in if you really didn’t want to engage in anything at all. As I remember during my days running online services at the Minnesota State Bar Association, it was the recommended social media for lawyers because, well, you have to do something online, dontcha? And LinkedIn was, increasingly for lawyers, that “something.” Safe, secure, professional, maybe even a place to get a job or, ha, a client.

And that’s the problem. LinkedIn was certainly “something” but it was—from the beginning—almost always dead, an endplace on the web with nothing of real consequence. It still is today. It is not a place where you would want to go to mess around and learn something, unless of course you had the urge to respond to the increasingly vapid requests for connections with people you do not know (or possibly remember vaguely from a bar conference four years earlier). There’s no there there in LinkedIn and, worse, it began to clog my email with notices that made me feel I was falling down on a vague professional “obligation” to connect with people I did not know and to let them also know, for instance, that I worked for the law firm of Christensen Laue & Rasmus in 2006. For something I never visited, it sure liked to visit me a lot.

I gave myself a choice. Either change my LinkedIn profile to my alter-ego of Goat Lawyer or delete the account. I tried to upload my Goat Lawyer profile image, but LinkedIn obviously uses facial recognition software which, not surprisingly, does not recognize goat-headed lawyers, even those wearing a tie. Goat lawyer would never load, despite numerous attempts. So, instead of doing the next best thing and adding all of Goat Lawyer’s accolades to my own profile, including an advisory membership in the Ruminant Lawyers’ Bar Association, I deleted my LinkedIn account. I was done. Why have something hanging around that I never used and, for the most part, always found a way to use me? In my own recent personal effort to rid my life of useless things, LinkedIn made the list, easily.

In the course of the last six or seven years I managed to scrabble together 290 connections on LinkedIn, which, for social media metrics, is paltry and pathetic. But to you 290 people who connected with me, well, thanks, I guess. And thanks to those who congratulated me on my one-year work anniversary. That was touching.

10 Comments

  1. Phil

    March 20, 2014 at 11:19 am

    Couldn’t say it any better. However it appears to be impossible to completely delete a profile.

  2. Fabian Powell

    July 7, 2014 at 3:03 pm

    Awesome article and completely true. Linkedlin is useless.

    • A Durkin

      September 2, 2014 at 8:38 pm

      I couldn’t agree more. It’s a useless waste of time and, even worse, it’s a platform for a very insidious form of bullying. Really nasty.

  3. Disconnect

    October 11, 2014 at 9:04 am

    You think 290 is paltry? All these years I only managed to snag 16 peeps. A few years ago I tried to beef up my numbers and sent out a bunch of invites. I got one acceptance.

    I had also joined the available groups related to my field and found little value. More common than not were people lamenting the dwindling number of jobs in my dying profession.

    So…I deleted it months ago. And it felt good.

  4. Dave

    October 18, 2014 at 8:40 pm

    I agree wholeheartedly. I just recently had an interaction with an acquaintance–she asked me to add her to my LinkedIn network, and I asked why. She then made the claim that it helps with career advancement.

    I don’t think it helps in any way with career advancement, or with anything practical. It is true that the _information_ one might put on LinkedIn helps with career advancement, but that information is also present on a resume and comes out in interviews (i.e. it is the information itself that is relevant, not its presence on LinkedIn).

    I don’t think LinkedIn has any function other than being a useless mirror of information.

  5. Ken

    October 27, 2014 at 9:31 am

    Just deleted it and it felt great. I work in IT, and I firmly believe that hte only good it did was provide my info to vendors so they can call me and try and sell me some IT related service.

  6. Kent

    November 7, 2014 at 1:06 pm

    I agree, the hype is unbelievable.. I don’t believe I ever received an interview or decent job lead from Linkedin.. I did receive a lot of emails from headhunters, all of which were for positions that didn’t fit my background!!

    If Linkedin is so good, why would an HR department even bother with recruiters?? Just go to Linkedin and do a search and find your perfect candidate!! There are even “services” out there that will “guarantee” you “views”, wtf.. Another over-hyped social media bs company….

  7. lory

    November 13, 2014 at 3:34 am

    oh u didnt like Linkedin because u couldnt use the goat face pic.. loser

    • Rich D.

      November 13, 2014 at 8:08 am

      Are you 15?

  8. Toni

    November 20, 2014 at 1:01 pm

    I deleted mine years ago… and I *STILL* get notifications saying that somebody is trying to add me. Boring AND annoying all at the same time.

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