10 years on LinkedIn

I just noticed on my LinkedIn account page that I’ve been a member of LinkedIn since February 28, 2006. This is almost exactly 10 years ago, and back when it was invite-only. I figured this is a nice time to reflect on the giant heap of trash it has become.

LinkedIn is one of the shittiest popular applications I feel obligated to use. Even though it’s incredible database of professionals must be an extremely valuable one, for some reason they’ve been unable to build a compelling product around it.

LinkedIn is riddled with so-called Dark Patterns which basically means it’s continuously trying to trick me into doing things I don’t actually want, such as uploading my address book, or spamming my existing contacts (whether they are or are not already on LinkedIn). These practices were recently actually deemed illegal by a Californa judge. Almost every action I do presents me with a screen that I’ll immediately want to close. That is: if I’m focused, because sometimes I’m not, and I end up spamming people again. LinkedIn is a giant opt-in spam engine masquerading as a directory and address book.

My only issue is that I feel, as an independent contractor, I’m obligated to maximize my potential in acquiring new customers. I don’t yet have the luxury to shut down an entire channel for new leads, despite the fact that LinkedIn has actually done very little for me in that regard. On top of that LinkedIn has become so ubiquitous that it’s actually become a standard question during some interview processes to ask for my profile. I feel that “I don’t have one” because of “principles” is never a great opener when you just made a new connection with someone.

Here’s to the next 10!

Web mentions


  • Sudhir Khanger

    Your resume 404s.

    • ja

      rotfl :)

    • Kyah Rindlisbacher

      Yo its

    • Oo Nwoye - @OoTheNigerian

      that's why he needs linkedin?

      • Evert


        Jekyll 3.0 changed how it handles links :/. Fixed now though

  • bzg

    How many contracts did you make through linkedin? When I realized it was ~0 for me, I quit. It's been a year and I'm perfectly fine.

    • Richard Davey

      I agree! Closed mine down too and don't regret it for a second.

      I still get spam mail from them of course though.

      • jtlien

        I have a thow away linked account that only notifies me when someone else looks at it. Otherwise it has no information about me. I believe LinkedIn is where HR people can go to get a quick reason why you cannot be hired. In my case it was my age.

  • willemodendaal

    Yes, I feel the same. I'm also an independent contractor, but I loathe having to go onto LinkedIn. I did get a job offer from Amazon though, so keeping my account active for now.

  • independent_forever

    I never thought about that but you are right on point. It's NEVER helped my job searches or finding actual, useful business contacts as I've always been able to do it the old fashioned way quite well. Maybe it's time to opt out of all of these "social" sites as I got along without any problems long before these types of websites existed.

  • martinsnyder


  • jmhowitt

    Junked all of them except twitter but never visit there, even left a small social net i ran, handed it over to another user. It has given me a load of extra time to use in more productive ways. It varies and i know some who find various social media productive, but you need to think not accept and analyse. They are at the end of the day just tools.

  • Brian Kung

    Definitely just shut my LinkedIn account for the very same reasons. Am now awkwardly dealing with “I don’t have one because of principles.”

    It's a work in progress.

  • Doug Smith

    Luckily I no longer need Linked In for jobs and I disabled my account a couple of years ago after realizing their intrusive ways are in fact pretty evil. If I had to though as some commenters, I'd run it in a VM where it couldn't access my email or any other data. I suggest Virtual box and Ubuntu or something simple to get a web browser going.

  • Jay Cuthrell


  • sworddance

    Is there anything that LinkedIn or a similar service offer? It seems like there should be some value to a "purely professional" network service.

    Because it seems like all the issues you have with LinkedIn apply to any of the social networking services.

  • mike lin

    Haters going to hate.