By Mark Schroffel
There’s no need to elaborate on what’s already been said elsewhere on the absurdities of LinkedIn. Instead, my approach with this article is to encourage my friends to think carefully about dissociating themselves from its mediocrity.
In psychology, the Theory of Association suggests that people develop positive and negative feelings about things as a result of their proximity (in space or time) to positive or negative experiences. It’s a sub-conscious and very powerful process. Advertisers are constantly trying to use association to evoke positive feelings about their products and to establish a buying trigger. If I have this product it will make me feel happy, just like I feel right now while watching this nice advertisement that reminds of the fun I had when I was a child sort of thing.
It goes the other way too; negative feelings can be aroused in just the same way. This is where I bring LinkedIn back into the discussion.
Chances are that you’ve been on LinkedIn and have cringed at genuine yet foolish attempts of self-promotion. Event though the place is awash with inane musings and dubious advise, people still engage with it because they want to be noticed. But you know that the difference between good attention and bad attention – right? Of course you do.
Let’s be fair though. While LinkedIn is a messy and frustrating, it’s also occasionally very useful. But on the emotional level, you can’t disentangle the good from the bad – it’s all about association. And if your name is in there, then you might have problem.
I’m not saying LinkedIn is evil or valueless, but I am concerned that the cons outweigh the pros (pun intended). So please think carefully and avoid the tarnish of guilt by association.