linkedin_outListen, I tried.  Honestly, I really did.  I tried to use LinkedIn, but after about a year of participating, I’ve come to a decision.  Almost everything about it is stupid and a waste of my time.

The most intriguing part of social networking– what’s differentiated it mostly from other forms of networking, is selflessness.  People are involved in the honest exchange of information with the goal of helping others.  The people who thrive are the most authentic and the ones that provide value to others.   LinkedIn is the antithesis of that. 

90% of everything on LinkedIn is self serving.  Don’t get me wrong, I know we’re all out there trying to get exposure and make a buck.  But what drives me crazy about LinkedIn is that all of the postings are created so that they appear to be bona fide attempts at providing valuable information, but anyone with half-a-brain can see that they’re not.  Heck, the only people asking questions are coaches and consultants!   The questions are thinly disguised as helpful, but they’re really just blatant attempts at getting attention.  It’s outright insulting. 

Even the discussions in the groups are a waste.  I’ve seen two…TWO…questions that were honest requests for information, one of which was an unabashed, direct request for legal advice (and I hope no one provided an answer or you may be in ethical hot water).  Are there a few exceptions?  Perhaps a couple of genuinely helpful groups or some serious requests for important information?  Of course.  But those exceptions are just that– exceptions and they’re very much in the minority.

LinkedIn is valuable for one thing– to get people in your network to introduce you to people that you may not know (and to do the same for others).  For that reason alone I’ll stay engaged.  The rest of the platform is garbage.