Why I’ve just closed my LinkedIn account

Update (February 2015): I’ve resurrected my LinkedIn account. Here’s why.

If you’ve ever read the Freakonomics book – or better yet, listened to the excellent podcast – then you’ll know about the sunk cost fallacy:

Sunk costs… influence actors’ decisions because humans are prone to loss aversion and framing effects.

I’ve had a Gmail account ever since I was able to get my hands on an invite – yet I decided to move away recently. Likewise, I’ve had a LinkedIn account since the beginning, but today I closed my account. Just because you’ve used something for a long time and become used to it doesn’t mean it’s still the best option right now.

Here’s my three main reasons for closing my LinkedIn account:

  1. Spammy emails – I’ve tried my best to stop these, but it’s almost impossible. Enough is enough.
  2. I want to own my professional identity – I’m not interested in ‘endorsements’. I’m interested in people finding out about me in spaces I fully control.
  3. The zeitgeist – there’s a growing backlash to LinkedIn. I noticed Audrey Watters deleted her account recently, and then there’s the fact that the company is being taken to court.

So it’s gone.

It’s up to you if you want to do likewise, but know that if you do decide to close your account, you’re not alone!

PS I recently replaced my about.me page at dougbelshaw.com with one created using Mozilla Thimble. You’re very welcome to hit the ‘Remix’ button on that page if you need a new profile!

Banner image CC BY Bryan Mills

7 Comments

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  1. Thanks Doug! Very timely post arrived the day after I did the same! I was also inspired to remix your about me page too! https://cpjobling.makes.org/thimble/LTE4OTcwNzA1OTI=/chris-jobling. I’m liking what Mozilla is doing to raise digital literacies: Mozilla Thible? brilliant!

  2. Just did the same thing…read this afterward just to ease the slight tinge of remorse I was feeling! Well, consider tinge removed! Thanks for the post, Doug; while I never had a spamming problem, I never thought about the identity control issue, so I appreciate that insight!

  3. I was invited a few years ago and signed on really just to be polite. I had just retired and had little intention of working again so it was a bit of a silly move.
    I then noticed that I was receiving their emails which were asking “Do you know so & so?” and the ‘so & sos’ were people I’m in email contact with. A bit sinister however when the names of people whom I’ve ‘googled’ and looked at their websites also appeared.
    These people appear to be spying. When I closed my account (which wasn’t straight forward) I was admonished for quitting such a wonderful site.
    Good riddance, eh?!

  4. How you did it when you are still there?

    https://www.linkedin.com/in/dajbelshaw

  5. I’ve been on Linkedin since 2009 and still didn’t get anywhere with my career. No job offers and even my former colleagues didn’t refer me but just endorsed my skills and just added me because like Facebook, they wanted to add as many people as they could. Who cares, that doesn’t do anything. In fact, I received jobs by actually contacting people PERSONALLY and going to events in real life. It was a huge time waster and I am glad I’ve pulled the plug

  6. Just closed mine. Totally worthless and of no value. Nothing but a dick-swinging contest really. Oh look at me, I’m a director now, whohoo!! See how many people you can add, hell even the ones you don’t know. Get a request from a stranger only to find out they just want to sell you something. Like the lady above said, never once did it lead a business idea or job offer. NO former colleagues came a calling. It’s all me-me-me and more me for 95% of the people on there. Hope they go under…

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