Rabbit Hole

How to Make Frenemies on LinkedIn

We’re all told how important it is that we join LinkedIn, even if no one can tell us exactly why it’s so important. But if it upends your life, don’t say you weren’t warned.

Hello, and welcome to LinkedIn, the world’s largest professional networking site that you have absolutely no idea what to do with. We’re so glad you’ve begun this remarkable journey into something that you know could be super-useful, but you will never, ever be able to actually figure out.

Our mission is simple: to make you think that without us you are unemployable. Everyone has been told they must be here, from the dewy-eyed college grad to the laid-off-in-a-way-that-almost-but-doesn’t-quite-qualify-for-an-age-discrimination-lawsuit seasoned job seeker.

Young and old, successful or not, here you are because you feel you should be or maybe you went to a seminar and saw someone do amazing things with LinkedIn that you’ll never replicate. Let’s get you some Endorsements!

What are Endorsements, you may ask? Simple! It’s a way for people you don’t know to tell the world that you are good at doing things you don’t actually do via single button click.

We’ve slyly set it up so that you feel bad not endorsing someone. Just as soon as you log in, we flash a picture of this hapless person you had a class with in college.

“Does Macie Plimpingtonston know about Simple Mathematics? Yeah, sure, you guess she probably does! Why not? Macie needs a win. Endorse! And there you have it. You’ve done your good deed for the day. Meanwhile, Macie is now working on her PhD in computer engineering and being killed softly by sympathy endorsements.

Of course, you can’t begin endorsing until you’ve made connections. All of you must strive diligently to get to that precious, precious 500+ connections line, the mark of either a sociopath or the most powerful man in the world.

By careful, dark design, we’ve made this highest echelon of LinkedIn power opaque. Once you are in this great and terrible club, you see, you don’t just know 500+ people—you know the heart and soul of every man, woman, child, and ox that has ever walked the earth. Upon assuming this Final Form of networking, simply by looking at someone, you see not only their skills, CV, and awards but also their hopes, dreams, merit, worth, and sexual fantasies they find confusing but cannot turn away from. Trust us, you really want those 500+ connections!

But be careful! Unlike other social networks, we let people know when you have looked at them, curtailing any and all fun stalking abilities and sending you into a tailspin when you realize that you ex-boyfriend’s new girlfriend knows you are wondering about her.

Why not expand your network by uploading your email contacts? Yes, good, that’s a love. Now we know every single person you have ever emailed, so don’t worry about that at all, and we’ll start making helpful suggestions!

Do you know Dr. Janet Tibswell, board-certified psychiatrist at Gentle Paths Mental Health? Of course you do, you see her every week! Why not connect?

No? Ok. Do you know Seth Wallis, graphic designer at Wieden+Kennedy? No, you do. You definitely do. You went on two OKCupid dates and you liked him so much and he never called you back and you thought it might be because you cried a little bit about your grandmother during the date, but come on, she had just died and was a truly incredible woman. He should’ve called you back. You definitely need him in your network! No?

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Do you know Richard Bargis, assistant professor of philosophy at your alma mater? Yeahhhh you do! You know, know him! It’s not weird to add him. Enough time has passed. Connect!

Congratulations! Peter Pilloway, assistant director of strategic branding and marketing at PLOOF! Inc. has accepted your invitation to connect! This will be the extent to which the two of you ever interact on this network, so enjoy this moment!

Congratulations! Macie Plimpingtonston has endorsed you for pole dancing, which is actually something you can endorse people for on LinkedIn! Do you want to add this to your profile?

Your loss, but fine. Now, add positions to your profile! And a headline! Just sum up every single thing you have the capacity to do or at least are desperately hoping you can trick people into thinking about you! No, too self-promotional. Uh, that makes you sound awful. Eh, just angst over it for the next seven months (don’t worry: we’ll remind you about it!) before putting something up that you hate but will stay for the next four years.

Which brings us to the most important part of the LinkedIn experience: wherever you go, there you are, and so are we. We show you our love, every hour on the hour, with emails of critical, need-to-know stuff!

From: LinkedIn

Time: March 13, 1:04 a.m.

Subject: Congratulate Seth Wallis on his promotion to senior art director!

From: LinkedIn

Time: March 13, 1:57 a.m.

Subject: Richard Bargis has 14 new connections, all of whom appear to be very, very attractive 22-year-olds!

From: LinkedIn

Time: March 13, 2:13 a.m.

Subject: Dr. Janet Tibswell has endorsed you for Talking!

So there you have it! We’re so glad you’re here, even if you’re not. Happy networking!