With Twitter imploding and people (myself included) trying to move to multiple similar apps, I was following everyone I knew numerous times. It may not look like it, but I can be a bit shy! If we're "Twitter/conference friends", you probably noticed me clicking the follow button on at least three new platforms. Then, some social anxiety creeps in!
"Oh, I liked my friend's post on Mastodon. Should I also like and share it on the other platform they also shared it?"
"Oh no, this person only follows me back on this platform, but not on the other. Do they hate me?"
"Am I being annoying?"
"Where do I post this mediocre attempt at a joke?" (actually, the answer for that is your personal website.)
While I am content with Mastodon (I've had an account since 2017), I did sign up for Threads and BlueSky. I will probably sign up for whatever else comes along because, you know… FOMO. Turns out I had forgotten about our old friend LinkedIn, which is also where everyone is!
I initially created an account in 2012 and kept it until 2016 or 2017. At that point, I had amassed hundreds of connections. I was also a young woman, so a few previous male co-workers constantly crept on me, from frequently visiting my profile to even drunk messaging me (yes, on LinkedIn). At that time, I wasn't using my last name online and was keen to protect my privacy and location, so having a profile where anyone could see where I was for 8 hours a day did not make sense. It was a time of my life when I was going through lots of anxiety, so I deleted my account.
I just remembered about LinkedIn in mid-pandemic. I created a new account, added my current co-workers and some close friends and realised I only had 11 connections. I felt… a bit concerned about how it would make me look. The pandemic and life gave me lots more to worry about, so I forgot about LinkedIn again until a couple of weeks ago.
A friend messaged me, telling me something happened to them on LinkedIn, and I decided to log in. Turns out more people I know are on it (obviously!). More people to follow and add! And my number of connections is still tiny. What does that say about me? In 2023! Social media anxiety is back!
"Okay, so LinkedIn is, in theory, the professional side of social media. Am I being too much for adding this person I have only interacted with on Twitter?"
"This recommended person, I know them and have worked with them, but.. We haven't spoken in years. What should I do?!"
"I follow this person on four other social media platforms. Will I come across as overly keen if I click "follow here too??"
Anyway - I did click in a few! I even saw some posts from the State of the Browser that I was mentioned in.
But this got me thinking. Dang, what could have happened if creepy men weren't bothering me back in the day? Could I have kept connections with lovely people I have actually worked with in the past? Most aren't active on tech Twitter or these new platforms.
Because let's be realistic: before Twitter imploded, tech Twitter was/is very much only a Twitter thing. Most people I have ever worked with don't care about Twitter. And quite frankly, some of them were the best people I ever worked with. But they are all on LinkedIn. And I wasn't for years because I felt I had to get away to feel safe. How unfair. What opportunities could I have missed because of this?
There's a lot of crap on LinkedIn. It is its own meme, but something tells me that these new microblogging platforms will come and go, but LinkedIn will still be there with its own cursed vibe.
Anyway, if we have actually met, feel free to add me on LinkedIn!