Worst. Alert. Ever.

LinkedIn is making me want to be a bad friend.

As a guy just starting a new job of my own (after a mere 23-year run at my original employer), I was very moved by the many notes of congratulations and “likes” my update garnered on LinkedIn, aka Facebook for Grownups. Similarly, I have a new-found joy in seeing my other friends and former colleagues announce new opportunities they have found. How exciting to be starting something new, and to share the news with your professional and personal networks! What a nice feeling when those close to you care enough to write even a one-word note of congratulations, or just give you the old thumbs up!

But now I want to stop doing that – I want to stop congratulating my friends on their updates. The reason? My daily linkedIn alerts are quickly getting cluttered up with what I can only consider to be the Worst. Update. Ever.

“2 people also congratulated Hyram Quickly on the new job.”

Really? You sent me an e-mail and flagged an alert on my home page to tell me THAT? With all the really important things going on in the world, this is “alert-worthy” in your view? What the heck do I care who else congratulated my friend?

I never opted in for this type of alert. (Actually, who would?) In my view of software development, there’s a word for “Alerts” that are neither actionable nor informative: bugs. LinkedIn, please clean it up.

You’re making me want to be a bad friend and appear to ignore my friends’ good news. Or even worse, you’re exposing me as an actual bad friend who sees good news but won’t take the time to communicate my congratulations in a more personal way. In either way, LinkedIn, I don’t need YOUR help in being a bad friend!

You know what would be a really good alert? If someone announced a new job, and NO ONE has congratulated them yet! “Luke Atme has a new job and no one has congratulated him — get on it!” Informative AND actionable, that’s worth an alert.


About David Erickson

Software Development Technologist/Executive. In the business since 1990, focusing in the Supply Chain Execution (SCE) and Work Force Management (WFM) spaces. Nerdy by nature.

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