Tuesday, May 11, 2021

A Gloomy Day on Social Media


It snowed a couple of inches yesterday across the Front Range of the Rockies and this morning the lilacs and the aspen saplings at FirstNerve Manor were bent under the icy weight. It’s been dark, overcast, and raining all day long. One stares out the window waiting for something better to happen. Then, just when one begins to reorganize the pencil drawer comes a flash of insight—what a perfect afternoon to weed out the LinkedIn connections!

Some calls are easy—those people you interacted with years ago but whose careers have gone off in entirely different directions from your own. It’s unlikely you will ever have a professional interest in common with them again. So—“Remove Connection.”

Then there are the connections that bring you up short—the old friend who died unexpectedly nearly a year ago. It seems callous to delete the link, but even a candle lit in his memory would eventually burn out. (“Remove Connection.”) Then the likeable guy you pitched some business with before he dropped dead after a squash game a decade ago. You went to his funeral and memorialized him here. Does a persistent online link express anything further? (“Remove Connection.”) Ditto the former client’s late husband who you liked and respected.

Even more depressing is to find the connections who, once in senior positions, are now retired. One thinks, uncharitably, that they are now just taking up virtual space in your LinkedIn connections. (“Remove Connection,” “Remove Connection,” etc.)

The same goes for academics who have levitated themselves into “emeritus” status. (“Remove Connection.”) And then, a long-ignored discontent bubbles up—why link to any academics at all? Professors are easily found via their campus web pages. Basta. (Three more “Remove Connections.”)

The late afternoon sun has broken through and the birds are singing once again. The virtual thicket has been thinned out and is ready to welcome new tendrils of professional linkage. Time for a drink.

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