COLUMN: Linked in to the spirit of the season

Some time back, some colleagues convinced me to sign up with LinkedIn, one of the (then) new buzz-wares making the rounds.

Some time back, some colleagues convinced me to sign up with LinkedIn, one of the (then) new buzz-wares making the rounds of the business networking crowd.

I was vulnerable, having just added my face to the vast Book in cyberspace, and doing some tentative tinkering with Twitter.

If they had told me that it was corporately cool to join Digital Data Group Hug, and participate in computerized croonings of Kumbaya at noon every day, I probably would have gone for that, too.

So LinkedIn I became. As far as I could tell, my life did not take on new meaning.

But I did begin to get messages from utter strangers who want to be LinkedIn with me. Sorry, Spanky, I don’t Link with just anyone.

Who are these people, and why do they want me on their lists? What do they do with these lists, anyway? Trade ’em like playing cards? Compare to see who’s got the biggest?

Will masked militants come to my door one night because I appeared on someone’s list?

And now that I’ve climbed aboard, how do I get off?

(I sometimes ask myself that about life in general.)

Even more confounding is the email advisory that someone on LinkedIn has “endorsed” me. It smacks of something faintly fanatical. You belong. You believe. You are endorsed.

I’m still waiting for my secret decoder ring.

I didn’t ask for endorsement from anyone. I didn’t even ask to be understood. That would actually be asking too much.

But here I am, all endorsed and networked and everything.

And then comes the request for reciprocal recommendation, sometimes from other people I don’t know. How could I possibly endorse them? They could be nefarious villains plotting to take over the world … or politicians, even!

I mean, how do I know what dark secrets they’ve been hiding in their sock drawer of life?

What if I gave my official stamp of approval, and they turn up at a friend’s door really early on a Saturday morning, hawking cheap plastic kitchenware and dropping my name as though I encourage what they’re doing?

For that matter, how do I know how well they do the jobs they claim to do?

It looks as though back in high school, some of them excelled at lifting large weights over their heads.

Now they’re supposed to be consummate professionals at designing high-tech marketing schemes for selling stuff. What if they’re fibbing?

And if I did indeed recommend their talents without knowing whether they could produce a polite burp, let alone a complex business plan, wouldn’t I be fibbing?

I mean, just because someone suddenly emerges in my email, all networked up, should I be out there as part of their personal cheerleading squad?

Digital relationships can be so superficial.

Nevertheless, I offer my regards to all my cyberspace “buddies.” Not in a LinkedIn sense, though … I’m not really that kind of guy … but in a holiday greetings, goodwill to all and peace on Earth sort of way.

And to my friends and family, and of course, you dear reader, a heartfelt Merry Christmas.

 

 

 

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Alisa Gusakova was one of two Grade 12 Chilliwack students who received a $5,000 Horatio Alger Canadian Scholarship earlier this year. Now, a fundraiser has been created for the teen after her mother was killed. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress file)
Fundraiser launched for daughter of Chilliwack woman killed

Money raised will help Chilliwack teen attend UFV to earn business degree

Chilliwack Search and Rescue volunteers say that a call on April 17 on Vedder Mountain was affected by bikers who rode through the rescue site, throwing rocks onto members and the patient. (Chilliwack Search and Rescue image)
Chilliwack Search and Rescue team, and patient, sprayed with rocks and dirt during rescue

Volunteer crew speaks out after riders on Vedder Mountain show no courtesy at accident scene

Agassiz Fire Department has been called to an ATV rollover on Harrison East Forest Service Road on Sunday, April 18, 2021. (Google Maps)
Agassiz Fire called out to ATV rollover incident on Harrison FSR

Morning call follows exceptionally busy Saturday as temperatures soar in Fraser Valley

A Chilliwack Search and Rescue truck heads down Vedder Road towards Cultus Lake to assist a dirtbiker with a broken leg. (Paul Henderson/ Chilliwack Progress)
Emergency crews, SAR busy with three separate outdoor recreation incidents in Chilliwack area

Calls in 1 afternoon include ATV collision, parachuter who fell from tree, dirtbiker with broken leg

Chilliwack’s historic Royal Hotel is offering COVID-style wedding packages for two weeks in June. (Facebook/ Royal Hotel Chilliwack)
Chilliwack hotel offers pop-up, COVID-style weddings for 2 weeks this June

‘Weddings can still happen, albeit in a different fashion,’ says Laura Reid of Royal Hotel

Vancouver resident Beryl Pye was witness to a “concerning,” spontaneous dance party that spread throughout social groups at Kitsilano Beach on April 16. (Screen grab/Beryl Pye)
VIDEO: Dance party erupts at Vancouver’s Kitsilano Beach to the dismay of onlookers

‘It was a complete disregard for current COVID-19 public health orders,’ says Vancouver resident Beryl Pye

Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance Chrystia Freeland responds to a question during Question Period in the House of Commons Tuesday December 8, 2020 in Ottawa. The stage is set for arguably the most important federal budget in recent memory, as the Liberal government prepares to unveil its plan for Canada’s post-pandemic recovery even as a third wave of COVID-19 rages across the country. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Election reticence expected to temper political battle over federal budget

Opposition parties have laid out their own demands in the weeks leading up to the budget

File photo. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Graeme Roy
One man dead after shooting in Downtown Vancouver

This is Vancouver’s fifth homicide of the year

A syringe is loaded with COVID-19 vaccine at a vaccination clinic run by Vancouver Coastal Health, in Richmond, B.C., Saturday, April 10, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
B.C. to open up COVID vaccine registration to all B.C. residents 18+ in April

Registration does not equate to being able to book an appointment

(Black Press file photo).
UPDATED: Multiple stabbings at Vancouver Island bush party

Three youths hospitalized after an assault in Comox

Selina Robinson is shown in Coquitlam, B.C., on Friday November 17, 2017. British Columbia’s finance minister says her professional training as a family therapist helped her develop the New Democrat government’s first budget during the COVID-19 pandemic, which she will table Tuesday. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
B.C. finance minister to table historic pandemic-challenged deficit budget

Budget aims to take care of people during pandemic while preparing for post-COVID-19 recovery, Robinson said

Police tape is shown in Toronto Tuesday, May 2, 2017. Statistics Canada says the country's crime rate ticked up again in 2018, for a fourth year in a row, though it was still lower than it was a decade ago. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Graeme Roy
CRIME STOPPERS: ‘Most wanted’ for the week of April 18

Crime Stoppers’ weekly list based on information provided by police investigators

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Most Read