Apr 142012

After having spent about 2 years with another LinkedIn Account, I have just decided to close it out today, after realizing that the amount of time wasted because of its ineffective presentation structure and practical development of my skills, to conform to a more-or-less static “traditional job” type database, and that of dealing with typical “business person” busy-ness, where the urgent and the reactive or other traditions, trump any meaningful communication of this service which may be likened to “e-mail on steroids” without the “punch”.

And so, after careful deliberation, I “emotionally” say “good-bye” to this service of “industry-type illusions”, of the usual fare of “typical resume qualifications” that become rather “boring and self-centered” in their own approach (and failure).

One thing that I noticed, was that it is extremely difficult to get recommendations for people in my network, because “hey, we’re too busy trying to make money (or pretending to make money) to try to help others” because, hey, “we’ve survived the 20th century”, and we don’t really want or can’t be wired all of the time to these tools, although we still believe in the industrial revolution and mass-production mentality from earlier centuries.

At least, these are some of my perceptions of how LinkedIn “seems” to be, and I suppose that if you ask most recruiters and employment specialists, that this tool is mostly marvelous for them because it collects and concentrates people in the database of connections convenient for them to access.  For me, as an Entrepreneur, this was probably one of the least effective ways to find information or meet people directly, as I often got distracted with discussion groups on interests that resonated with my own sensibilities, and as LinkedIn became more popular, the significance of my resume and skills became less-likely to be noticed or appreciated, even with different presentation text on my summary, specialities, and title, emphasizing “you” or mush-to-that-effect with just a free “basic” account.  (There were however, a few exceptions and this is something like mining-for-diamonds, nevertheless, direct communication outside of LinkedIn, make more sense for me today.)

Politically, and traditionally job-wise speaking, posting this article about some of my reasons, whether they be logical or irrational, is a dangerous thing, because many people who do LinkedIn sincerely believe that it is helping them with their careers.  (And I suppose that those who benefit financially from using this, would declare that it is so — for me, the Basic account and my intended and actual usage was not enough.)

For me, in this 21st century, of the 2nd decade, Internet social media network services, with LinkedIn as the system of discussion specifically, are more of like band-aid approaches of trying to control and monetize human resources, and I have became rather tired of the same old content posted and connection requests with people who don’t really know me, nor do they want to invest the time to send even a decent e-mail message.

Perhaps, I may be somewhat bitter at the disappointments with some of career limitations and obstacles, including the funeral service after the untimely death of my father 3 months ago today, who seemed to believe or at least follow and conform to the old 20th century model or pattern of getting an education, and getting a job, because there are no other options growing up.  However, it is interesting to remember that with the crash of the 80’s and subsequent crashes, that job scarcity was a wake-up call to the Boomers of the hey-day of University-trained grads, that even they started to question whether formal education really pays, was starting to emerge.  Jobs guaranteed to be given right out of post-secondary, were no longer the case, and highly trained professionals were found working menial jobs that were hardly related to their formal and expensive education.  (For those that care, you might be interested to read the biography of Steve Jobs by Walter Isaacson as this was the book of study last weekend for me — alas, I digress!  Freedom of a mostly coherent blogger!)

Despite these thoughts and feelings that I currently have, I tried to be more objective in measuring the value of LinkedIn.  What was interesting was that the Close-out process was peppered with screens of “are-you-sure?”, and “why don’t you build your network” in response to the selection of paraphrased statement of “this service does not have value”.  However, in reviewing the groups and people that I was connected with, the number of active communication channels has dwindled, despite the fancier statistical screens of “who’s been looking at your profile”.

In the end, this so-called “professional” network, is designed to sell advertising and attract people who want to pay monthly for premium accounts.  To me, it’s another form of exploitation, that seriously needs to be weighed for its merit and security and privacy concerns, not to mention the extra “maintenance” required for business plan changes of the developing Entrepreneur to keep current.

For me, being an Entrepreneur means that I can find work without having to “dump” my resume on people, and this usually means that I’m not a qualified candidate for the traditional hiring process.  In fact, I’ve stopped applying for these positions, simply because I am too much of a generalist, and this is hard to quantify, and really doesn’t appeal to those who follow the book of standard practices.

What happened to the days of allowing people to learn on the job?  I mean, has society been duped into believing that you must be extremely qualified in all requirements, to be privileged to have a mediocre job of “renting” your time and energy for the sake of security and other benefits?  (This is a real shame, and pity, especially if education teaches and believes that learning how to learn is the most important asset and skill to have.  There must be other reasons — maybe I’ll learn them sometime soon.)

Why did it take World War II to artificially start and then actually stimulate the economy, so that the Boomers (or people of the time — Veterans, Civilians and the Radio Generations) could be forced into traditional jobs and training afterwards, because that’s what helped us “win” and “get over” the war?

I admit that I have digressed somewhat with my writings, and it’s interesting to explore and articulate why I have closed my LinkedIn account.  However, if you are rather bored of these writings, than I suggest that you carry on with your life, and pretend that you did not read this, although I must admit that I would prefer to have you reply or comment below.  (And I’m sure that you might even have agreed with me on some points, even if you don’t).

I was about to continue with my “pity-party charades” about why it’s too bad that our society, nation, and community believes in such-and-such, or does this or that, and then realized that I’m somewhat begging the question with a sense of seeking approval or justification for my decision.

Brain-washing seems to be a popular activity for most of the “zombie-like” citizens of our world, who are content enough to do the usual without question, and enjoy the superficial comforts of the “American dream” and watch about the news of the world on their television, with 3 square meals a day.  (As long as we have TV, a car, a house, food, and standard opportunities, we’re good, right?)

Even with upcoming elections, the stumbling blocks of complacency, tradition, and other human foibles seem to be most easily described and expressed.  (With the current Provincial election, this is more “stressed” into lifestyle and conscience decisions.)

So, I set my mark again, with my refusal to continue with a “less-than-worthwhile” service by closing my LinkedIn account, as being someone who is free to think beyond the box of believing that unless you are wired with a particular brand or types of social media, that you are doomed to failure.

For the record, I don’t do Facebook, Twitter, or Yahoo for much of the same reasons, although the flavours of these networks are more casual in general and twisted for business purposes.  (There was a time, when business and personal affairs were more rigidly separated.  Not so anymore with the proliferation of social networks.)

Although I currently do Google+, I’m thinking that I may soon close this once Google ramps up to its advertising proportions.  (I seem to be curious still, and want to learn, even if it’s not practical or supported.)

Blogging on my own domain seems best for now, with minimal interaction using carefully selected networks and e-mail that work for me.  (Not depending on self-managed “groups” is much easier to deal with.  Really, effective content procurement should not depend on multiple group memberships although it probably will remain this way for the foreseeable future until the Internet is replaced.)

W. Carlos was correct in saying that “everything that you can control, you must control”, in response to additive synthesis, a technique for creating electronic music.  (This was mentioned for its “encapsulation” valuation of being a “pearl of wisdom” that I believe applies well to my close of this article).

I believe that in our “additive” society, more is not necessary better, and simplicity is space and freedom to do what is best is often more effective and efficient.  Generally speaking, mass production mentality of automation tools that affect our minds and physical space, often create many questions or problems after the intended solutions have supposedly solved or fixed to original ones.

Farewell, LinkedIn, and may you morph into something more useful or less wasteful.  At least for me, I won’t be distracted anymore with your service of “less-than-empowering” activities.  Nor will I solicit my services or products and receive other invitations through your network anymore with usual cases of bad salesmanship of which the premise of social media was supposed to erase.

Good Bye.




  3 Responses to “Why I closed my LinkedIn profile”

  1. Aaron,

    I hope others read this. That’s because you have many valid points to make. I’ve chosen some and my comments on them follow your points!

    “…that seriously needs to be weighed for its merit and security and privacy concerns, not to mention the extra “maintenance” required for business plan changes of the developing Entrepreneur to keep current.”

    This is critical. Sites can say anything but deliver nothing, so long as their members keep paying. I just finished an Online Help Site which delivers tons of stuff, really important things, but folks online are so turned off that I’m having to convince people that I do offer value. Thus, I suggest strongly that everyone evaluate where their money, energy, and time go as you have outlined. I’m reminded of two old sayings, “You get what you pay for.” (which for me says that free stuff is not all that valuable) and “There’s a sucker born every minute.” (which for me means that there are tons of people out there cheating folks.)

    “…has society been duped into believing that you must be extremely qualified in all requirements?”

    Unfortunately, it has in certain circles related to music (our big connection!) It used to be that “A&R” people from the big labels could hear an incipient hit in the worst demo. Now they demand CD ready demos or they won’t bother to listen. Lazy asses.

    “Brain-washing seems to be a popular activity for most of the “zombie-like” citizens of our world, who are content enough to do the usual without question…”

    This is the “sheeple” idea and there is way too much of this. You sound so much like me in your disdain for the conventional wisdom that it isn’t funny. I am trying hard to fight city hall, and you seem to be doing the same. Honestly, it gets tiring sometimes, especially when bills come due. I do sympathize as this is also a problem for me. Not getting any younger. And right now everyone is very scared of everything. That is big time getting in my way.

  2. Dear Aaron,

    When I speak on Social Media, I tell the audience that each one of us gets to define how and when we use tools like LinkedIn. So, I respect your reason for closing your account. My simple question, could you have limited your use of LinkedIn without closing the account? For example, I’d like to look at your profile now to help me recall previous communication; I’d like to see your picture for that “Oh Yea” moment.

    I wish you the best with your career.

  3. Recently last week, I thought that it might be advantageous to create 3 separate LinkedIn profiles, one for each different industry that I do.
    However, with the lack of control over what gets posted on the Internet, from social media, I felt that it’s better to develop profiles on my own domain.
    So, I closed out these 3 profiles, and was amazed at the sudden amount of e-mail notifications from LinkedIn, even though I thought that I had “turned off” updates from them.
    It took a few days, for the customer support to finally cancel further e-mails from LinkedIn.

    I stick to my original intentions, even though perhaps, I might be losing out on possible new contacts.
    Seriously, if people want to connect with me, there are many other ways — in-person, telephone, and even the old fashioned e-mail.

    At least, this works for me.

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