In this column, “Just putting this out there…,” we write about the odd ways we engage with tech and the unpopular opinions we form about it. You can read the rest of the articles in this series here.
I’m not all that active on social media. I barely tweet, and I’m rarely serious when I do. I still use a fake Facebook profile, practically to stay in touch with some old acqaintances. I do post on Instagram every once in a while, but I think of it as an exercise in aesthetics more than anything else (yes, there’s something very pretentious and hipsterish about my captions, but I’m not ashamed of it).
There’s one platform I can’t stomach the courage to build a presence on, though: LinkedIn. It just feels unnatural to exist there — but not enough to actually delete my profile.
I don’t wanna say I’m too cool to use it, but I am saying it. It’s embarrassing. It’s not the rebel thing to do. That, and you simply won’t find the words synergy, disruptive, lifehack, or somethingpreneur (feel free to replace something with social, serial, mom, dad, or whatever) in my lexicon.
I’m not passionate about startups, I don’t care how your content strategy helped you boost sales, I can’t find the fun in the “cups of coffee consumed” metric, I don’t give a flying fuck about your quirky company culture, and I think most of the innovation I read about is more of an exercise in PR than actual technological breakthrough.
I don’t ideate, I don’t leverage, and I’m also not delusional enough to believe glutten-free snacks and Friday drinks (or pizza) at the office should make me feel better about being overworked and underpaid.
I’m not impressed by your important-sounding title, I’m not inspired by your success stories, and I find your “smile for the camera” or “non-chalantly staring at the horizon” profile pic untrustworthy.
I won’t endorse your growth-hacking skills, I don’t feel like celebrating your one-year anniversary at some shitty startup (or your birthday for that matter), and I’m also suspicious you’re lying about your past working experience (and why wouldn’t you when every merely intriguing job ad requires a lifetime of experience you don’t have).
I don’t care about the self-help book that changed the way you think about startups or helped you see the world from a different perspective, I won’t listen to the generic podcast your co-founder started to promote your business, and I know you haven’t read the blog post you just shared beyond the title.
Yet I still use LinkedIn.
Because I need to show that in addition to writing about farting and being an occasional douchebag, I also know a thing or two about smashing through KPIs, checking off deliverables, and extracting insights from data — even though I don’t like talking about it.
Because it’s a good place to flaunt those university degrees I spent four years of my life on without any real return — other than the prestige of having acquired them.
Because one day I might need a new job, and I’m concerned my Twitter and Instagram activity will overshadow my actual body of work.
Because I might have to drop you a note, asking you to refer me for a job so I can get my application seen by an HR whose got a thousand more identical resumes on their desk. And, of course you would, because who would throw away a potential referral bonus?
So if one day I accept your invitation to connect (or send you one of these myself), just know one thing: I’m only playing along with this pretence for my own benefit — and so are you.