In an ongoing effort to un-muddle my digital footprint, I deleted my LinkedIn account over the weekend. I talked about doing it a year or two ago but didn’t get around to it. A spate of emails from the service this week drug it back onto my list of things to do. I wanted to like LinkedIn – and maybe if I worked in a universe that traded on creating a massive professional network I would have. But for what I do, and the scope of people I need to interact with, it just wasn’t doing much for me other than sending a dozen emails a week to my inbox. I don’t need that kind of help.
I have to think LinkedIn is so popular because it creates a benefit for people in a sales environment, or those interested in building their professional network, or those who have any kind of professional ambition left. Since I don’t fall into any of those categories it was just one more extraneous feed of information I wasn’t using.
The simple fact is I don’t really identify, even “professionally,” with my 9-5 self. If someone wants me in their network it should be as a sometimes writer, a blogger, an opinionated blowhard, a reader, and hopefully, in some small way, as a thinker. That other stuff, how I whore myself out to pay the bills, is entirely secondary to what I consider the “real” me.
It’s just the most recent bit of transition from a guy who long ago thought what he did for a living defined who he was to a man who’s trying to define himself in some other – if far less tangible – way. What that definition is, what it will become, remains to be seen.
Whatever the definition, I know with certainty that future self doesn’t require an account with LinkedIn.