Thursday, November 5, 2015

The great LinkedIn dilemma

A networking platform or playground for admirers?

Almost two months ago, Chalotte Proudman, a barrister in human rights law at the CHambers of Michael Mansfield QC lashed out at Alexander Carter-Silk for allegedly misogynist remarks on LinkedIn. Carter-Silk, being an expert in protection of copyright, design rights and trademarks at the London firm Brown Rudnick, became a subject of public scrutiny on various forums - online and off; for what would you expect from the world at large if such behaviour comes from that educated an individual!

Reading that, I just had one question on my mind, who does that on LinkedIn? I mean, we’re all used to being subjected to such behaviour on informal platforms like Facebook et al, and we gracefully ignore them, too. But LinkedIn is a professional platform, primarily meant for the purpose of networking in order to hire or get hired.

Another thought that later crept into my mind was, thank god! That never happened to me. As I thought I was not really prepared to handle such crass behaviour on a platform like LinkedIn. Another, advantage that I thought I held was that I never considered myself to fall in the league of women who bag such admiration (I have always been thankful for that). And as providence might have it, the events that followed got me to have a taste of it.

On Oct 10, 2015, I received a connection request from an employee of my previous organisation. On finding plenty of common colleagues as his connections, I accepted the request and within moments I received a message from this gentleman,
To receive such a message on LinkedIn was a first and given the tone of this message, I wasn’t sure if his intent was to make a sexist remark or it just didn’t come out right. I let the incident pass giving the benefit of doubt to the person in question, without responding of course.

The reason why I’m writing about the incident today is because, yesterday, Nov 4th, 2015, I received another message from a person who had sent in a connection request a few days back. This gentleman incidentally “couldn’t hold himself,”
With such incidents to back my case, I’m sharing my experience today while I have quietly removed them from my network. But I really fail to understand why do people show such mannerisms at all?

With all the LinkedIn insights and profile enhancement recommendations, my profile visibility goes down if I take my profile picture off. If I do keep it intact, I will be receiving such postcards of admiration every now and then.

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