Who’s afraid of Linked In?
One of the scariest facts I’ve come across recently is that every second at least two more people get sucked into … Linked In.
The Linked In mindset is an example of social media as a tool in the workplace that assumes the anodyne characteristics of other personal communication tools (sociability, networking and to some degree social advancement (i.e. the number of marketable skills one has according to colleagues, employers, friends et al) and to a lesser degree, personability.
According to the report in the Australian Financial Times on 11 September, 2013, “every second at least two more people join in the network of 238 million members”, where the ambition is to offer a digital map of skills, uniting both workers and jobs around the world.
Critiquing this mode of human resource development centres on the transparency behind amassing such rich data that drives the $US364 million business which has had a sixfold increase in the stock price since 2011.
While Linked In notes what kind of job postings members view on your home page “Jobs you might be interested in” it also has an algorithm that factors in how often a user has changed jobs.
Ultimately the mining of information relates to the strategic policy decisions of corporate clients and an Orwellian view of the long-term reading of both an individual’s as well as an organisation’s history. David Lewin from UCLA in the article said “certain characteristics are critical to one’s success in the workplace but are difficult to measure from a Linked In profile” has economic deterministic overtones.
Depending on the generation you were born in, Linked In also stands as an example of technology or privacy apartheid for those who prefer old-school approaches to job hunting or who have lived through a deluge of Linked In emails and have simply move on.
Crucial to analysis of Linked In is the question ‘Who am I really linking in with?’ and the perceived value of maintaining ‘electronic’ relationships with former colleagues, all the while personal information is stockpiled by a third party.
Having succumbed to its charmlessness a few months ago there has been a none stop barrage of emails – and I had one former colleague ring to notify me ever so politely that they didn’t need any further endorsements from my good self. Slightly mortified, I’ve stopped using Linked In since.
Has reading or skimming the article made you re-think why you are even on Linked In? What are you views or experience on Linked In – is it something you rely on to get a new job, or is it just another ‘necessary evil in life’?