Life in Hollywood, below-the-line

Life in Hollywood, below-the-line
Work gloves at the end of the 2006/2007 television season (photo by Richard Blair)

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Linked Out

It’s not you, it’s me...

The (supposedly) professional Industry network Linkedin began barraging me with e-mails a couple of years ago, and in a moment of weakness, I signed up. It was something new, and I was curious as to what it was all about – and what I subsequently learned is that for me, it’s of no use whatsoever. I’ve long since forgotten my site password at this point, but the ghost of Linkedin continues to haunt me. Every few weeks I get a request from somebody I've never met (on line or off) to “connect on Linkedin,” an invitation I silently decline. It would be simple to accept, but truth be told, I’m a bit weary of all this social networking. Facebook is bad enough -- changing all the settings around every month or so for no discernible reason other than that young Mr. Zuckerberg apparently seems to enjoy watching us all dance like virtual puppets at the end of his long digital strings -- but Linkedin?

I don’t think so.

What’s worse, Linkedin seems to reach out on its own, without the individual members even knowing about it. When I got an invitation to connect with one of the set dressers on my show last season, I waited until the next day at work to ask her how she used Linkedin.

“I don’t,” she said. “I never sent that invitation. Ever since I was stupid enough to join I’ve been trying to get the hell out of Linkedin.”

That was my “aha” moment. Since then I rarely bother to reply to these invitations. With no way of knowing whether an actual human or Linkedin’s clever algorithm made the request, I see no point. Besides, including me in a list of professional industry contacts isn’t going to do any newbies out there any good. I never was a DP, and no longer work as a Gaffer or a Best Boy – I’m just a juicer now, a lowly Morlock toiling far below the line in the dark shadows of the Industry food chain. For someone I’ve never met and do not know to think that adding my name to their list of Linkedin contacts could somehow help advance their careers is absurd.

This doesn’t mean I don’t care.* I hope all my readers go on to enjoy wildly successful careers in the business, and if you’ve got any questions I can answer, use the comments section or the Gmail link on this blog and I’ll do my best to help out. Just don’t waste your time asking me to connect on Linkedin -- and if you (or more likely, the insidious algorithm) insist, don’t take it personally when your invitation results in the sound of silence. No offense is meant by my non-response, and none should be taken.

Hey, I’m just an old dog who doesn’t have much use for all these bright and shiny new digital tricks.


* Nor will I ever underestimate the power in a few timely words of encouragement...


Nathan said...

Well just for that, I'm gonna hunt high and low until I find my Linkedin login and password and then I'm gonna go see if you and I are linked and then I'm gonna unlink from a digitally huffy manner!

Hmmmmph! :)

Joe Cottonwood said...

I had the same problem. Tried out LinkedIn, realized it was useless, tried to delete my membership. No go. Once a member, always a member. Kind of like the mafia.

Penny said...

I gotta say I'm 50/50 on this one, Mike... Yes, I get some weird random invites too - one VERY strange one from someone I actually know, but professed to be the CEO of what I think is probably her street address. (?)

Yet I've also gotten back in touch with a few ADs who are always working, so that's kind of nice.

I don't blame you though for Linking Out of the social network system. To my grave, before I ever join Facebook!


Michael Taylor said...

Nathan --

Fair enough.

Joe --

True, but at least Linkedin doesn't kill us for trying to escape their digital grasp. Not yet, anyway.

Penny --

In this business, whatever helps you get work is a good thing, so I'm glad to hear Linkedin actually can be helpful rather than simply irritating...

egee said...

I hear you. These social networking sites drive me crazy. I long ago disabled my account on Facebook (wasn't that hard) and felt better for it. (I don't "Twitter" either). I AM on LinkedIn but don't pay much attention to it. Interesting to realize that most of those invites are automatically generated. Frankly, I like to control my social interactions too much to relinquish it to mindless systems.