LinkedIn: a horror story in countless spam mails.

I apologize sincerely to everybody who is constantly being spammed via e-mail on behalf of my LinkedIn-Profile. The people who are already on LinkedIn probably haven’t noticed, but everyone in my Gmail address book has had the pleasure of receiving at least three separate emails, sent over the course of the last three weeks, reminding them – pardon, BEGGING them – to please create a LinkedIn-profile so they can connect with me.

This may sound like a petty annoyance, but it has grown to a monster of embarrassment. Here’s what happened:

I logged on to LinkedIn after a few years of neglecting the profile completely. I don’t know why I did that, maybe because I am finishing my studies and subconsciously trying to catch a business wave, but that doesn’t matter (pls give me money). What matters is that I updated my profile and started looking around the platform if I could connect to people that were also on LinkedIn. After all, this is what this business networking media site is for, right? Well… yeah. In so many more ways than you’d expect.

As I am used to doing from other online social networking profiles, I connected LinkedIn to my Gmail account. BIG, FAT MISTAKE. Because without my consent or knowledge, this did not only imply that I would find the people that were also on LinkedIn by their email addresses; it meant they’d ALSO get in touch on my behalf with EVERYBODY in my contacts that WASN’T on LinkedIn, prompting them to get an account because I want them to.

Here’s the kicker: when you sign up with Gmail, one of the big convenient things is that all of the mails you send or receive get listed in your book of contacts. My Gmail account is more than ten years old by now, and you can imagine how amazing this feature can be when you only know a name from your past. Well, turns out this feature can ALSO provide you with a lot of social pain. LinkedIn sends out emails to everyone. Including, but not limited to, my:

– doctors;
– tax accountant;
– professors at Uni;
– old high school teachers;
– old high school friends;
– everybody on various mailing lists I never signed up for;
– current employers;
– current arch-enemies;
– family; all of them;
– the guy who’d been stalking me for ages and who now thinks this is a great excuse to continue doing so;
– people I never want to see again or hear from again;
– dead people;
– mom’s old high school friends who I was once put BBC in.

Again, this is only a short list of people LinkedIn has contacted with details about my profile and my picture. I’m not saying these things aren’t public anyway. It’s just that I’m somewhat involved in digital business-making and THAT sure as hell isn’t deemed as professional. Unfortunately, most people don’t realize that this has nothing to do with my stupidity (well, not mostly, anyway). It’s LinkedIns fucked up idea of a networking system.

So you would think that this isn’t much of a problem. Sure. It’s not, if it was only one email that got sent out. But as far as my contacts have told me – and these are my annoyed friends, mind you, not my business partners or acquaintances who aren’t on LinkedIn – there’s been four emails so far. FOUR EMAILS. No wonder I’ve been getting emails and text messages of people who keep insisting that they – apologizing – DON’T have LinkedIn but if they did, they’d certainly connect with me, but in the meantime, could I please stop sending them emails?

The truth is: I can’t. I don’t know how. I’ve disconnected LinkedIn from Gmail, I’ve requested personally to their team that I want it to stop, I’ve searched my profile high and low for some kind of function and of course, I Googled the problem (which only returned with a result about a pending mass-lawsuit against LinkedIn for this kind of social abuse), but to this minute, I don’t know if any of these methods even worked… until the next person tells me that they’ve received yet another email.

I don’t understand how this isn’t causing more outrage. So many people I know are on LinkedIn, and none of them seem to have that problem. Or: I wouldn’t know, because I have LinkedIn. Naturally any request sent will be over LinkedIn and not over email, invading my personal space with literal SPAM that was caused by someone who I deem as a professional contact or even worse, someone from my past who I really, really don’t want to talk to again, ever. Some of those emails aren’t just unprofessional, they are downright INAPPROPRIATE. I honestly don’t understand how a business that provides BUSINESS networking opportunity can be that shitty.

So- LinkedIn now has all of my contacts in its eternal hell of data void, and all I can do is sit and watch the reactions. I would play it as performance art if I were a little bit courageous or artistically inclined, and I’m crossing fingers that deleting my account (if that’s even possible) will solve the problem… but on the other hand, what if I delete it and lose all control forever, while the mails still get sent out?

Verdict on this product review: FUCK.

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