The latest and most repulsive invention of the Internet age is LinkedIn (where “Relationships Matter”). LinkedIn is a place where sixty-five million “professionals” share information in accordance with LinkedIn’s draconian intellectual property agreement, which has to be seen to be believed:
“You own the information you provide LinkedIn under this Agreement, and may request its deletion at any time, unless you have shared information or content with others and they have not deleted it, or it was copied or stored by others users. Additionally, you grant LinkedIn a nonexclusive, irrevocable, worldwide, perpetual, unlimited, assignable, sublicenseable, fully paid up and royalty-free right to use, to copy, prepare derivative works of, improve, distribute, publish, remove, retain, add, process, analyze, use and commercialize, in any way now known or in the future discovered, any information you provide, directly or indirectly to LinkedIn, including but not limited to any user generated content, ideas, concepts, techniques or data to services, you submit to LinkedIn, without any further consent, notice and/or compensation to you or to any third parties. Any information you submit to us is at your own risk of loss…”
And that’s just the beginning! Now I’m no lawyer, but I’m pretty sure that by the time you’ve clicked “yes” to that, LinkedIn owns anything you have ever or will ever come into contact with, seen, or encountered in any way (and anything you’re looking at now, including, presumably, my blog).
So what do these soulless buzzards offer you in exchange for everything? Simply, the ability to exchange “information, ideas, and opportunities” with people with whom you are presumably “linked in”. “Opportunities”! What the eff does that mean? My guess it that if you’re a whore, this pimp has just the customer for you. I would love to see the statistics on the number of sexual liaisons directly or indirectly instigated by this site. (Since LinkedIn presumably has the right to distribute, etc., these liaisons, I’m expecting http://www.hotlinkedin.com soon.)
Let me tell you something, maggots: I already know who my friends are, I already know what interesting ideas they have, I know their resumes better than my own face, and if I didn’t, I’d go over to their house, crack open a beer, and get an update. I’ll be caught dead before I pass along a sweet opportunity (read: easy girl, cheap blow, Qaeda contact… who knows what they’re selling?) to someone I haven’t known and liked since I was two.
Ah yes, but I’m not a “professional”, you say. Look, I don’t know exactly what a “professional” is, although I would assume it would be anyone who engages in a profession, i.e. the 52% of America that doesn’t live off of the government dole. But in this context it clearly means something different. Someone who wants more than just to mingle in the intimacy of their friends, in free and happy exchange of whatever is there to be shared. Someone who wants to advertise and exhibit, to exchange their own virtues and goods with strangers in order to advance in the world. Someone who wants to make money. In short, a professional is either a merchant or a prostitute.
And here we come to the nub of the problem. I’m not against the Internet. I’m not even against “networking” sites; I find it useful that Facebook offers me a guaranteed way of staying in touch with “friends” who I’d probably otherwise lose touch with, and if I wanted a torrent of mental feces injected into my brain, Twitter has just the solution for me. But what I object to is the social climbing. I object to the mindless whores running around with Blackberries linking into and hooking up to anyone that looks like money.
It’s not the Internet’s fault, really. These people were around before the Internet and before Blackberries. There was Mr. Bigshot Lawyer, who only brought to dinner the friends who could chat up a client. Mr. Bigshot Banker, who had something interesting to say to everyone in the room at the cocktail party. Miss Slinkyshot Consultant, whose professional thigh-length skirt and two-button blouse reminded all the executives of her qualifications. And on and on and on.
Why enable them?
Edit: For grammar.