LINKEDINToday, I received a LinkedIn connection request from a coworker still working at my former employer. I think I had spoken to this person only a few times at length and to be quite honest, I was only doing it to be cordial. There wasn’t much else to say to this person as far as I was concerned. Opposite sides of the fence, you might say, in more ways than one.

And as most of us do when we receive such requests, we click on the link and start to stalk checking out the person’s profile: current and previous employers, current and previous cities of residence, other connections, etc. Then I got to thinking that if this person came across me then they must have also seen all of my same information.

Without much more thought, I did what I should have done a long time ago: I deleted my LinkedIn account, and I did it for several reasons besides this one.

I Never Used It
Outside of changing my profile picture and updating my resume as my employment situation changed, I did not engage in anything on the site. I followed only a few, did not join any discussions, etc. That alone was reason enough for me to close my account.

It Never Worked
True, you get out of it what you put into it and I put lots of tweaking into my profile. It yielded only a few contacts from potential employers and neither of them seemed legit. I even posted drawings I did in college as a means to sway potential employers into seeing that I’m more than just a one-trick pony. Zip. Not one person asked about them.

My Resume Sucks
No really, it does. If you read it you’d probably think I was one of the dullest people on the planet. Seriously, who would willingly subject themselves to 9+ years of writing, editing, and proofreading? Aside from that I don’t have experience with Chicago and AMA style which, if you plan on being a proofreader, is huge outside of holding a degree (which I don’t have, either). I’d prefer to not return to those occupations again and given these facts, chances are I probably won’t and I’m okay with that.

Few Connections, Most Distant
A majority of my connections were from my past and pretty much useless. What good is the opinion of or recommendation from the guy I worked with nine years ago who probably barely remembers me? What about the invite from the aforementioned person today? They are as good as strangers to me now, and I’d rather have more up-to-date contacts to give to potential employers. (Most of my current references are not on LinkedIn.) Also, I’m not a “connection whore” and feel the need to link to everyone I could think of like the guy who sold me peanuts at the ballgame. I like my circles small but some like theirs large which boggles my mind as to how they keep up with all of them. That, or like Facebook, they treat it as a popularity contest. S/He with the most connections wins.

Strangers, Stalkers, and Psychopaths
Aside from the random invitation from someone you may know, there was also the plethora of invites from headhunters, recruiters, and downright strangers – more people who have seen my embarrassing CV. At first I approved them thinking that hey, the more connections, the better. Then I realized that these few strangers I approved just connected to even more people. It was like a pyramid scheme without the scheme: they were on top and their mass list of connections trickled down. What an ego trip. Compare that to my 50 connections when I closed my account. Then there’s times when things turn sour with one of your connections or you ask them to write a recommendation and it was so poorly written that you have to keep it private. That happened to me. This person turned out to be a real psychopath and I hid their recommendation from the public eye.

And with that, I’m done with LinkedIn. So to all of you – all 50 of you – who were connected to me via LinkedIn, you aren’t now. But it’s doubtful they’ll even notice I’m gone.

And to the former coworker who wanted to connect with me, don’t hold your breath waiting for my approval.