Before I start, can I just say that all Linked Inners, especially those to whom I am connected, are wonderful people. I can? Oh good.
Don’t know about you but I’m approaching Peak Linked. Every connection I ever made, those thousands of wondrous filaments, have meshed to an impenetrable fence. Linked In is now, to me, a clunking, pendulous chain that weighs heavily.
It’s not you. It’s me – and a testament to too much casual linking. Ah, youthful impetuosity. I used to click and click. What was I thinking?
I’ve been ‘reached out’ to by myriad lovely people to the point that I’m no longer touched but just thoroughly, exhaustively fingered. The act has lost its pleasure. All that reaching and grasping has left me a mass of grubby thumb prints. I feel rubbed raw. So many people have offered to ‘share synergies’ with me, it’s a wonder I haven’t caught something. They always promise ‘mutual advantage’, these charming requests, but increasingly the invitations have the resistible allure of car keys tangled in the pot of a bunch of swingers from Frimley.
There are the droves of gorgeous coders, SEO magicians and email engineers from all parts Bangalore. They are, I’m sure, unfailingly brilliant. Quite rightly, they tell me that over and over again. Tssk. I should have known. The same goes for the massed ranks of intermediaries in the head hunting game. Enchanting people, I have no doubt, every last man, woman and Natasha, of whom there seem to be an inordinate number.
The language is worn thin with repetition. The sparks are depressingly few and far between, in the grey slurry of selling messages and professional dating demands.
As for the simpering crowd of ‘honoured to’s’, ‘proud that’s’ and ‘humbled by’s’ who, for very human reasons to do with rampaging ego, lack of self knowledge and an eye on next year’s Cannes shortlists, feel compelled to share their latest creative washing on the Linked-In line: just stop it. Enough already. Please channel your inner Jennifer Aniston and demand of your sanity, IS IT WORTH IT? Exactly. Spend some more time in front of the mirror instead.
Most recently, it appears that the most effective ‘How-to-flog-stuff-on-Linked-In’ chain letter ever has reached truckloads of US digital businesses, because they now all conclude their invitations with the sentence, “Let’s hop on a call next week and discuss opportunities.” More and more, I keep both feet on the ground, some way from the telephone.
Oh god, I’m such a grinch. Hypocritical too, because I’ve dabbled in a bit of hardcore sharing. This little article here; that pack design we loved from the studio there; something funny or infectiously clever that I wanted to pass on, that might – just – reflect well on me.
Nevertheless, in the waterfalls of solipsistic self-reverence, it’s all one can do not to drown. It never ceases, this overload of business blancmange at best, a downpour of drivel at worst. It’s like being wrapped in candy floss and read the phone directory at the same time. Sweet but boring.
And yet. And yet… There are, still, wonderful exceptions. The piece about a new Spotify poster campaign this morning. The agency is called Who Wot Why. The work is excellent, with that current, understated, on-brand twang in the writing that the brand has made all its own.
Hmmm. Rant over and a sense of relief. Perhaps I’ll take the fingers out of ears and my palms from over my eyes.
I wonder what’s out there? Perhaps one more teeny weeny look. Just one last lunge at the Links today. Just one…