Unbalanced: CheerUp with LinkedIn

Author: Carol Schaal '91M.A.

Carol Schaal

YouTube, you can keep your funny cats; Instagram, I’m bored with your selfies; and Pinterest, enough with all those foodie masterpieces. When I need a pick-me-up — and no, not the stalker type — I need only log on to LinkedIn.

The professional social network site always brightens my day. Last week, for instance, I learned I was being endorsed for my copy editing skills. Never mind the fact that I had no clue who, exactly, the person endorsing me was. Hey, somebody likes my work!

A few days later, I was told that the owner of a pest control service is someone I may know. Although I’m not sure how editor me is connected to pest he, it gladdened my heart to learn that I have a connection should an army of creepy crawlies invade my house.

And if work is dragging me down, LinkedIn is sure to give me a lift. The site lets me know about available jobs and even franchise opportunities that may fit my skills — those skills that people I’ve never worked with think I’m so good at. And the network gives eHarmony a run for its money, cluing me on groups I might like, ads I might be interested in and companies I may want to follow. A veritable chum, that LinkedIn, because without the site I would not have known that I should be curling up with the Saudi Gazette.

Yes, it’s clear to me that LinkedIn always has my best interests at heart. The site recently informed me that I was not following any Influencers or Channels yet. “Be inspired, stay informed,” those good folks told me, and they even offered a handy “get started” guide for me to get in the groove. Just like a good bra: always supportive.

Ah, I can hear the naysayers scoffing now. “You’re a fool,” they’re yelling. “Your pick-me-up really is stalking you.” Yeah, yeah, I know. LinkedIn has algorithms that track me and know who I am friends with and what I do and what I like on my pizza. But unlike my “friends” on Facebook, LinkedIn doesn’t dredge up stories about the time I served cold cut sandwiches as a holiday dinner, spent a party sitting under a dining room table or set fire to a lake cottage. Cause as virtual friends go, LinkedIn is a pro and knows how to make me happy. Even if it is trying to set me up with the pest guy.

Carol Schaal is managing editor of Notre Dame Magazine. Email her at schaal.2@nd.edu.