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Deleting Linkedin

This week I decided to delete Linkedin. I’ve been wanting to do this for a while now, but haven’t had the courage to do it. Nothing changed as such except me deciding to bite the bullet.

There has been a lot of news about data privacy, facebook and the outsized influence tech companies wield; how If it’s free, you are the product. Even though the folks in the tech circles have been aware of the data privacy issues, it is heartening to see the general public being cognizant of this fact. Hopefully, this will lead to some much needed changes in the business models of tech companies and user expectations and behavior.

The world has gotten so used to accessing everything on the internet for free that paying for software or services is done rarely. The costs involved in writing software, paying for the servers, the electricity maintained to run the massive data centers has never been made clear to the users and has for a long time been offset by the advertisers. Since the value of the data that the users share also isn’t made clear to the users, they give it away for free and let themselves be profiled by data collection companies like Facebook, Linkedin, Instagram.

Leaving Facebook was an easier choice for me when I made it in 2014 as I wasn’t getting any value from it. In fact, it was negatively affecting my days as I wasted massive amounts of time on the platform while wallowing in misery looking at highly curated lives of my connections. Linkedin though is a different case. I got my current job through Linkedin and have made a lot of professional connections because of it. There definitely was some value for me in using Linkedin as even today it is an easier platform for new oppotunities to come up. Maybe that’s why it took me this long to get rid of it.

I decided to delete my account even with the benefits I’d lose because of how scummy Linkedin is in it’s UI/UX practices. Contsantly asking to be fed more data, hiding away the privacy and security setting deep insied a confusing interface, implementing dark patterns in their UI to discourage users from taking actions that weren’t beneficial to Linkedin. I could go on, but I don’t want this to be a rant.

I downloaded all the data off of Linkedin before I deleted my account there. I’m aware that Linkedin doesn’t delete all my data and it’s theirs forever, but maybe by not actively being on their platform, I take back some control.

So, how will I keep in touch with all my professional contacts? Where can they reach me? Well, I’ll do it by myself. I’ll be maintaing my own address book and I won’t harass them with requests to endorse me for my skills or write references. In the next couple of weeks, I’ll start sharing my resume publicly and maintain an active list of the work I do.

That’s all. Bye.