Back in the early days of its existence, maybe 2006, I used to call LinkedIn ‘BoringFacebook.’ I would click around and honestly wonder why anyone would spend time on the site. It was so dry and uninteresting. Endless links to Forbes and Business Insider articles. I just didn’t get it. I think that was because I was comfortably settled in a job I enjoyed combined with the fact that I have a real dislike of business networking (because I suck at it?).
My view of LinkedIn changed when I went freelance. Suddenly, LinkedIn, with its community of creative recruiters was — what? Useful?! And, I quickly became one of those freelancers who was addicted to checking LinkedIn every three seconds. It was during that time I really began to notice something that really began to get under my skin.
The word honored.
LinkedIn has made me hate the word honored. Go right now and scroll through it, and you’ll see this word about a gazillion times. Go on. I’ll wait.
“Honored to be recognized as a top 50 health influencer!”
“Honored to be part of the team who took home 3 EFFIE awards, including two gold!”
“Honored to be asked to be the keynote speaker at BLAHCon 2018!”
“Honored to write how honored I am to self-promote whatever shit I’m self-promoting right now!”
Really? Are you honored? Or are you tooting your own horn? Which is OKAY! I’m all for tooting your own horn. Just do it creatively. Or if you can’t do that, I’ll settle for honestly. My suggestion? I would much prefer that the word honored be replaced by ‘Hey! Look at me!” That way, you get a much more honest post. And a shorter one too. Watch!
“Hey! Look at me! I’m a top 50 health influencer!”
“Hey! Look at me/us! We won 3 EFFIE awards, including two gold!”
“Hey! Look at me! I’m a keynote speaker at BLAHCon 2018!”
“Hey! Look at me! I’m self-promoting myself!”
Too much Gary Vee.
If you don’t know who I’m talking about, I’m referencing the online guru Gary Vaynerchuk, who goes by the moniker Gary Vee. To say that he’s a polarizing figure would be an understatement. And Gary Vee has never understated a goddamn thing in his life. He is prolific. In the time that I typed “He is prolific,” Gary Vee has sent 654 tweets, added 342 clips to his Insta story, recorded, edited and released 6 podcasts and somehow got someone to name a sneaker after him.
You read that right. He’s got his own sneaker. Why? I don’t fucking know. All I know is Gary is out there CRUSHING IT. IT being EVERYTHING. And how do I know Gary is CRUSHING IT? Because, CRUSHING IT is the title of his new book, and if you buy it you can learn how to A.B.C.I.! Which, of course, stands for ALWAYS BE CRUSHING IT.
One thing I will praise Gary Vee for is his views on positivity. When it comes to negative bullshit, Gary Vee is not. having. it. At all. RELENTLESS POSITIVITY is the name of the game. And man, does he lean on the RELENTLESS part of that phrase.
So, at the risk of seeming negative (I’m working on it, Gary. I promise), can we have about 37% fewer posts? My thumb is getting tired of scrolling over your face.
I’m getting LinkedIn invites from complete strangers in industries not even remotely connected to my own. What’s this all about?
“Joe Bilko, Business Development CFO at Widget Incorporated wants to connect with you!”
With me? Really? A CFO at a widget factory wants to speak to me? About what? The Finance behind Widgets? Nothing about this makes sense.
Also, I get invites that are not only other languages, but in other alphabets, like Hindi, Russian, Chinese and Korean. I’m assuming they are spam. But about 65% of me is certain there is real person sending that invite for god-knows-what reason.
The cringey anniversary reminder.
Ever gotten a post like this?
“Hey! Congratulate Joe Bilko on his 8 year anniversary at Widget Incorporated!”
What makes this cringey? Well, I know for a fact that Joe was FIRED from Widget Incorporated 2 years ago. BECAUSE WE CONNECTED IN THE PREVIOUS PARAGRAPH, AND BECAME GOOD FRIENDS!
But, jokes aside, this has happened with friends of mine who have been let go from jobs, and it has to be salt in the wound to have some fucking shitty algorithm remind you in the most public way that you don’t work there anymore. Thanks a bunch, shitty algorithm.
The strange Sponsored InMail.
I’m in advertising. I’m a creative director. I’m a copywriter. So why do I get InMails like this:
I am reaching out to high-profile candidates with an opportunity uniquely timed for January 2019.
Glasgow Sheboygan College of Smarts has been awarded significant scholarship funding for a few select spots in our graduate January cohort, and we want you to be a part of it.
Designed for all professionals in fashion’s value chain, the MS International Fashion Marketing has a focus on Fair Fashion and sustainability that seeks to equip you with the cutting-edge knowledge necessary to give your career in fashion the purpose that it seeks.
It is an incredible program, with a manageable schedule and now extremely affordable tuition. With the industry’s most renown guest lecturers, you can start this coming January, and graduate the following June with a Master’s informed by global leaders in the field. Classes are two evenings a week, right in the heart of downtown Manhattan — and you have the summer off.
Kindly use the button below to learn more and provide information for a follow-up call.
With warm regards and thanks for your time,
This letter raises so many questions: Who told Carlos, (if that’s your real name) that I’m a professional in the fashion value chain? What the hell is a ‘fashion value chain?’ Why doesn’t “Carlos” know that I’m already famous in my industry for being fashionable? I WEAR WARBY PARKER GLASSES IN MY PROFILE PIC, for god’s sake. What is FAIR FASHION? Is it like designing espadrilles you wear to a carnival? And how much money does this scholarship offer? Can I use this money to buy new carnival espadrilles? So. Many. Questions.
So, if there is anyone at LinkedIn reading this, please reach out to “Carlos,” and tell him I’m not interested; and oh, if you could fix all that other stuff, I would be honored to be part of the team that fixed LinkedIn.