LinkedIn is for Lovers

Better update your resumé.


A high school dalliance who lived in a different state recently texted me a picture of letter that I wrote to him in a variety of colored pens. At the time, he had been in the process of phasing me out, and I was in denial/not having any part of it. In the middle of my on-paper live-blogging (“My mom just came in the room and asked what I wanted for dinner. My phone just rang but it was a prank call so I hung up”), I casually threw in the following line:

“I don’t know why we’re really not talking as often as we used to but when I come back to visit everything will go back to normal…or else I’ll kill you :)”

And then I signed off the letter as though I hadn’t just punctuated a death threat with a smiley face. (I also drew a few horses in the margins and included a tan photo of me from a family cruise.) Signed, sealed, delivered, boom.

Letters were the “Remember me?” of a simpler time.

Then came the Facebook Poke, where the use of a digital index finger signified Remember Me? flirting — RMF. “Likes” on Instagram later replaced the poke. (Swipes on Tinder and similar apps don’t count in this case, because RMF hinges on the notion, “We used to have or be something.” To further reduce headaches, let’s leave in-person flirting and holiday texting out of this entirely.)

But recently, it seems ex-romantic partners are winking via double-taps on Instagram less. They’re taking their “Rememer Me” pokes instead to the social utility that, until now, remained unscathed by the plague of twenty-something romantic complications: LinkedIn.

Hey baby, your resumé has never looked so good. 

According to an unofficial sampling of people — my friends, strangers at bars, dinner party seatmates and the conversations I eavesdropped on — the website is now being used for meaningful reunions with the intent of dating as opposed to work relations. Getting a request on LinkedIn from a guy or girl you used to more-than-just-know is the grown up, white collar Facebook poke.

It’s also about more than just sex. Everyone I spoke to who claimed to have been the recipient or sender of these loaded “adds” said that LinkedIn was an adult way to act on nostalgia and reconnect. A few people also noted that it’s a very “immediate” way to impress the person of your affection: Here’s what I’ve been up to. Here’s my intended career trajectory. Here is also what I look like in a tie.  

However, all interviewed parties cautioned that no one should read into a LinkedIn request until there’s follow-up that proves your requester is flirting, i.e. “Drinks?” Remember that all too often, LinkedIn requests are sent in bundles. Let us also not forget that some (most?) people on LinkedIn really do just want to expand their professional networks.

It seems strange that one should try to turn a site for professional connecting into one for “love.” Isn’t the main rule of corporate life to not shit where you spreadsheet?

Incidentally, all is becoming fair in love, war and social media.

Get more Postmodern Love ?