Cyber Promises

Yesterday, I shared an internet frustration on my Facebook page. I was surprised–and gratified, in an unfortunate sort of way–with the responses.

Some background: A couple of years ago, someone persuaded me to join LinkedIn. After a month or two of “membership,” I decided that–whatever its merits–the site was not for me. So  I tried to leave–to “recuse” myself, as we lawyer types would say.

No way.

I tried everything. (Okay, every mechanism an old woman with limited internet skills could think of.) Nothing worked. I was a “forever” captive of the site.

Eventually, I gave up. I left my “membership” with LinkedIn, and simply ignored the occasional invitation to connect. But it gnawed at me. I felt impolite–rude–when I ignored an invitation. I wanted to reach out the the person issuing the invitation and explain that I was not declining to be friends or even “connections,” I was simply not participating in this cyberspace exercise.

The other day, when I received three invitations from Linked In, I realized that something needed to be done. So I posted a “just in case you are one of those I’ve ignored” all-purpose apology. And the floodgates opened.

I heard from a large number of people who shared my frustration. A couple of them also shared my guilt, and the impulse to explain “nothing personal” to those they ignored. I’m gratified to learn that I am not the only person in this predicament, but frustrated with yet another situation in which a tool intended to make life simpler/easier instead makes it more complicated.

The internet is a wonderful advance. I can’t remember life without google, and I wouldn’t want to go back.

But they don’t call glitches “bugs” for nothing. They sure bug me.


  1. But some of their messages ARE enticing…….I got one yesterday that said: “If you know both Sheila Kennedy and Kudzu you’ll want to find out how they managed to work out their differences civilly.”

  2. Thank you, thank you, thank you! I have been feeling guilty for not responding to the Linkedin invitations I have received from friends. I still have no idea what it is or why I am being invited to another Internet site; E-mail and Google serve my purposes and I often get fed up with Facebook postings with no way to delete them. Glad to know I am in such good company regarding my feelings about Linkedin.

  3. I connect with quite a few people on LinkedIn, but I also get invitations from people I’ve never heard of. I feel no guilt in ignoring them, and I feel no animosity toward anyone who ignores an invitation I’ve sent.

    LinkedIn can be a good tool for finding connections—you know, you’re looking for some kind of person(maybe an economist) and a colleague happens to know just such a person. But like every service, it’s not for everyone.

    Anyway, time to log into LinkedIn and send Sheila an invitation. 🙂

  4. LinkedIn to me is a business networking site, much like Facebook is a social networking site. LinkedIn has some quite valuable business discussions, and you can join other groups of interest. Not interested in professional or business networking? Don’t join. But I see a lot of people making connections that they otherwise would not make.

    LinkedIn does ask you if you want to send invites to everyone in your email address book. If you say yes, then all of the people you know will get invites. Then when you connect to someone who also has done that, you may get invites from people THEY know, which is sort of the point, although I see why some might be annoyed with that.

    I like it basically. Some don’t like Facebook either. Both have their uses and abuses.

  5. One odd thing about LinkedIn is that people can endorse you for various skills, but at least in my case, the endorsements have often come from people who can’t possibly know my skill level in those areas.
    So thanks, but …

  6. Sheila, invite that computer savvy son for muffins and coffee, and have him block those worthless LinkedIn emails. End of it.

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