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

A mallard duck swims through Salish Pond in Chilliwack on Saturday, Jan. 23, 2021. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress)
WEATHER: Snow, rain in forecast for Fraser Valley

Fraser Valley has been treated to more than a week of mostly sunny weather, but it’s about to end

U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders sits in on a COVID-19 briefing with Dr. Bonnie Henry, provincial health officer, and Adrian Dix, B.C. minister of health. (Birinder Narang/Twitter)
PHOTOS: Bernie Sanders visits B.C. landmarks through the magic of photo editing

Residents jump on viral trend of photoshopping U.S. senator into images

sd
VIDEO: Mission drag racer scores 1st career win, sets world record, makes history in 2020

Justin Bond, founder and owner of JBS Equipment, hits milestones in break-out year

A video posted to social media by Chilliwack resident Rob Iezzi shows a teenager getting kicked in the face after being approached by three suspects on Friday, Jan. 22, 2021. (YouTube/Rob i)
VIDEO: Security cameras capture ‘just one more assault’ near Chilliwack secondary

Third high-school related assault Rob Iezzi’s cameras have captured since beginning of 2021

U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders sits in on a COVID-19 briefing with Dr. Bonnie Henry, provincial health officer, and Adrian Dix, B.C. minister of health. (Birinder Narang/Twitter)
PHOTOS: Bernie Sanders visits B.C. landmarks through the magic of photo editing

Residents jump on viral trend of photoshopping U.S. senator into images

A 75-year-old aircraft has been languishing in a parking lot on the campus of the University of the Fraser Valley, but will soon be moved to the B.C. Aviation Museum. (Paul Henderson/ Chilliwack Progress)
Vintage military aircraft moving from Chilliwack to new home at B.C. Aviation Museum

The challenging move to Vancouver Island will be documented by Discovery Channel film crews

Giants defenceman Bowen Byram has recorded his first NHL career point (Rob Wilton/special to Langley Advance Times)
VIDEO: Vancouver Giants Bowen Byram records first NHL career point with Colorado Avalanche

Player with Langley-based WHL franchise assisted on goal against the Ducks

Surrey Fire Service responded to a fire in the industrial area of 192nd street and 54th Avenue early Saturday morning (Jan. 23, 2021). (Photo: Shane MacKichan)
Surrey crews respond to fire in industrial area

Fire happened early Saturday morning

FILE - In this Feb. 14, 2017, file photo, Oklahoma State Rep. Justin Humphrey prepares to speak at the State Capitol in Oklahoma City. A mythical, ape-like creature that has captured the imagination of adventurers for decades has now become the target of Rep. Justin Humphrey. Humphrey, a Republican House member has introduced a bill that would create a Bigfoot hunting season, He says issuing a state hunting license and tag could help boost tourism. (Steve Gooch/The Oklahoman via AP, File)
Oklahoma lawmaker proposes ‘Bigfoot’ hunting season

A Republican House member has introduced a bill that would create a Bigfoot hunting season

Economic Development and Official Languages Minister Melanie Joly responds to a question in the House of Commons Monday November 23, 2020 in Ottawa. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Federal minister touts need for new B.C. economic development agency

Last December’s federal economic update promised a stimulus package of about $100 billion this year

FILE - In this Nov. 20, 2017, file photo, Larry King attends the 45th International Emmy Awards at the New York Hilton, in New York. Former CNN talk show host King has been hospitalized with COVID-19 for more than a week, the news channel reported Saturday, Jan. 2, 2021. CNN reported the 87-year-old King contracted the coronavirus and was undergoing treatment at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles. (Photo by Andy Kropa/Invision/AP, File)
Larry King, broadcasting giant for half-century, dies at 87

King conducted an estimated 50,000 on-air interviews

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

BC Coroners Service is currently investigating a death at Canoe Cove Marina and Boatyard in North Saanich. (Black Press Media File)
Drowning death in North Saanich likely B.C.’s first in for 2021

Investigation into suspected drowning Monday night continues

Most Read