Why I suspended my LinkedIn account

I have been on LinkedIn for ages. More years than I can remember.

A month or so ago, I suspended my account.



I’m not sure I get any benefit from LinkedIn

I don’t think that having a profile on LinkedIn confers any benefit on me.

I know a fair few lawyers and consultants who say that LinkedIn is a great source of work for them. Great! I’m (genuinely) pleased for them.

For me, it’s not.1

I don’t think I’ve had one good lead via LinkedIn, in the last seven years.

Plenty of recruiter spam, for sure.

Plenty of people trying to sell stuff to me, despite my profile clearly saying that I don’t want to hear from people selling stuff.

Plenty of people asking if they can “pick my brain” about something, asking in a manner which makes it clear that they what they actually want is actionable advice without a bill. Sometimes, that might be good marketing; most times, it is not.

All of which arrived by means of an email alerting me to the fact that I have a message, but not actually giving me the content of the damned message, requiring me to log in to LinkedIn to read it, because why make a convenient user experience when a painful one is possible. They’re not even end-to-end encrypted.

Perhaps I get a few extra eye balls on my blog posts, since not everyone wants to use RSS. That’s literally it, as far as I can tell, despite various attempts at “engaging”. And while I’d like to think “more people viewing my blog” is positive, on the whole, I suspect it really equates to little more than “making my web server work a bit harder”.

If someone wants to find me, they can search my name using a search engine of their choice. I have a personal website, and a work website. Even though my name is common, I’m really easy to find online. I can’t see how being on LinkedIn gives me any extra credibility (or, at least, any that is worth having).

I don’t have a particular need or wish to find where people I’ve worked with in the past are currently working.

Of course, keeping my profile there incurs very little time or effort either. Not zero, as being there means I need to keep on top of any changes to privacy settings, but even so, if there’s the slightest hint of a benefit, perhaps keeping my profile there is justified. Right now, I’m not convinced LinkedIn meets even that almost-so-low-as-to-be-invisible threshold. But my profile is suspended, not deleted, so if I realise that I am wrong, and that I just can’t survive without it, I can reactivate it.

99% of what I see on LinkedIn is utter dross

My feed is stuffed full of insufferable tripe, designed to make the poster look both humble and amazing, most of which is, I strongly suspect, completely fictional. If I never saw it again, my life would be better for it.

Much of the remainder is people posting shockingly bad takes about the GDPR with completely misplaced confidence. My goodness, if that’s what they are posting online, I dread to think what advice they’re giving the poor sods who are their clients.

(Obviously, this isn’t true of everyone on LinkedIn, or all “data protection practitioners” - some people there, I hold in high regard. But there’s enough dross to put me off.)

There might be tools to better curate my feed, to find the 1% of stuff which is not mind-numbingly terrible. Or I could, I guess, just ignore it entirely.

LinkedIn just shouldn’t exist, IMHO

In my (cyber utopian) ideal world, people would have their own websites.

They’d publish whatever they felt comfortable publishing, which might include their current situation, or their contact details.

There would be no need for something liked LinkedIn, a glorified address-book-with-blog-features-and-surveillance-and-advertising.

To be honest - and I might be on my high horse here - I kind of feel the same when I see people posting on Medium, or Substack. These are services which, IMHO, should not exist, and I typically won’t bother to click through to read whatever it is.

  1. Most leads are word-of-mouth referrals, or people with whom I have worked before who have moved to another company, or people with whom I have interacted in the fediverse. ↩︎