A while back, I got tired of the plethora of invitations from LinkedIn and decided to look into it. Yes, they wore me down. Actually, the tipping point was when I got an invite from my 75+ year old Aunt. That was a WTF moment. I went to the website and signed up. No questions asked. Just filled in the profile page and hit send. And then there was another page. And another. And another. Droning on ad nauseam about my skill-sets.
I don’t know what my skill sets are, um I can type pretty fast after I’ve had a manicure. But no box to check-off for that. Smart-ass is listed nowhere, and I’ve written to them about that glaring omission. I decided that honesty was best for this venture, so in the background summary I wrote:
I joined LinkedIn with the primary purpose of getting the solicitation emails to stop, and to see what my friends actually do for a living. Or what they claim to be doing. And I’m annoyed that under the Expertise section, there is no option for skilled at one-liners.
I figured this was the quickest way to kill the whole thing; with the least amount of pain for me. I put in the minimum amount of information so I could finally get to the good stuff. Finding out whatever the hell this was all about. I finished the profile and waited.
No games, no chat, no photos other than member profile thumbnails; just a scrolling news reel with business stuff. People’s promotions, random financial articles, the occasional cartoon… That was it, that’s what all the fuss was about? I thought maybe I wasn’t using it correctly, so I pressed on.
Did I want to add connections? Sure, why not? It started bringing forth names. The LinkedIn Gods were working overtime, the list was endless. Who should I pick? Who would be pissed off the least by getting emails from me? The irony of which, was that I joined in the first place to make the emails stop. But why shouldn’t they all suffer with me. So, on a Friday night, I started clicking “add” while watching Futbol, eating sausages and drinking beer in a local pub.
I stopped checking the “add” box, only because my finger got tired and I got bored. Satisfied that I had added what seemed like a healthy amount, I watched the game, and then walked with my friends to enjoy the revelry of a rare Armenia team win. Blissfully unaware of what was to come.
The next morning, my inbox was exploding with announcements. Having no desire to read any of them, I logged into my account. In less than 24 hours, I had over 300 connections. I was terrified. What had I done?!? I was now part of the collective?!?! What was I missing? No shopping, no free samples, no links to cute kittens or puppies doing tricks on YouTube; what the hell?!? I had unleashed the beast.
I decided to change my approach. Maybe I just needed to add more people. I saw profiles with 500+. Maybe I had to earn the “+” for the real secrets to be revealed. I went to the suggestions page, and the first name that popped up was Arsen. Now, the phenom of an overabundance of Armenians with “A” first names has always been a pet peeve. Could prospective parents NOT get past the “A” section in baby names. Arman, Arsen, Artur, Artak…. It’s “a”nnoying. A new evil plan formulated in my head as I clicked on the first hapless Arsen. I would hunt down and add every Arsen I could. It was Saturday, I had already consumed too much coffee, and there was nobody to stop me. I kept adding Arsens until I got tired and went on Facebook to play CandyCrush. Of course after I noticed there were over 2,000 Arsens. The next day the results were the same; more connections, no answers, and no closer to solving the mystery. I relegated the LinkedIn emails to the spam folder.
Today, I’ve abandoned all hope of finding out the secrets of LinkedIn, have come to terms with not being able to stop the emails, and my profile has an unhealthy imbalance of Arsens. I had always hoped that one of them would get suspicious, discover the disparity, and alert the cartel. But to date, there have been no upheavals in my connection list; and to my knowledge, no bounty on my head. My only wish is that I had thought of this when I first set up the account, and I have toyed with the idea of deleting it and starting over again. All Arsens, All the Time. Dare to dream.