ladies who lunch en masse, connect via linkedin?

LinkedIn. I don’t know. I’ve never quite gotten it. It’s never really done anything for me, except personally allowed me to connect to some friends and former co-workers I don’t see or speak with very often who aren’t on any other social media platform.

But has LinkedIn ever done anything for me professionally? I don’t know truthfully, but I kind of do use it as a place to share my blog posts. I have also discovered by accident it’s a place where corporate America goes to hide so if you have a problem it’s a great place to tag people to get something accomplished because it makes their marketing departments vibrate to get what they deem unwanted attention.

LinkedIn is also a place where people go to spy on other people. As a blogger, people do that to me all of the time. And I am always amused by who is looking.

I was also fascinated when I saw this article recently :

Why is everyone crying on LinkedIn? Users share why they’re getting so personal on the networking site

Published Wed, Sep 28 2022 12:02 PM EDT
Updated Wed, Sep 28 2022 4:11 PM EDT
Aditi Shrikant

“Dominic hit Kai in the face with a broom,” begins Kwame Christian’s LinkedIn post. Christian is an attorney and CEO at the American Negotiation Institute

“Understandably, Kai wasn’t thrilled about it…..

It continues like this for another eight, double-spaced lines before Dominic and Kai reconcile under Christian’s guidance. 

If you’ve scrolled through LinkedIn lately, you know Christian’s post is not unique.

Stories from and about crying CEOs, overwhelmed parents, and burnt out millennials have ferried us into an entirely new type of LinkedIn — one that looks a lot like Facebook.

The flooding of the professional platform with selfies, family photos, and somewhat chaotic “life lessons” was propelled by the pandemic and bolstered by LinkedIn’s algorithm favoring more personal content.

~ CNBC 9/28/22

Ahhh get personal, it’s good marketing. I see.

LinkedIn is amusing and the beautiful online place for marketing departments then? Honestly this is a fascinating article and I really suggest people read it. It touches on our over-sharing on social media in general, and how it is used now like a marketing tool on LinkedIn.

“We came out of the pandemic struggling with finding a work-life balance and we saw other people being forthcoming with those challenges,” she says. 

When she posted her own story, she felt re-affirmed that it got so much interaction. 

“It reminded me that business is run by people and we all have lives,” she says. “At least for me, seeing people at their desk doing exercise, seeing it come to life, it all seems more achievable.”

~ CNBC 9/28/22

I guess the thing is I don’t see my life as a marketing tool. If I feel like sharing I’m just sharing, I’m not sharing so I get a new customer.

But the other thing about LinkedIn that is starting to grind on my nerves is the amount of unsolicited messages we get. Take this morning for example:

So Mary Elizabeth, what made you choose me to ask? Was that just some list you purchased? Or did you just go through and do a search for women in the area? Why would you think anything I did would be interesting? How is your group “curated“ to help me do what I do? It sounds like a marketing pitch, dear. Marketing pitch as in sales pitch. So again what specifically drew me to you for dining en masse?

This is actually just a marketing solicitation/sales pitch to me, isn’t it? Kind of like have dinner at Red Lobster and meet your perfect financial advisor?

First of all if you actually knew me, you know the last thing I want to do is be in a room full of women who are strangers at lunch talking about themselves. And if you actually knew me, you would know I never, ever will fit this mold.

Also there is nothing on earth more suspicious than the supposed “free lunch“ from strangers is there? And why do I say that? Because it comes with a sales pitch. People, come on now, try to keep up. There is no such thing as a free lunch, remember that saying?

This isn’t because someone has an interest in me as an individual human being at 58, this is just me as a body to get into a room in the hopes you can sell me something.

And these purported all female empowering networking groups are they really that? Or is it just an excuse for some of them to promote themselves to you? because the real hard-working women I know out there never have time for things like this because why? Oh yes… they’re actually working.

And it goes back to why do they really want to have lunch with me? And why do they presume that I want to have lunch with them? Selfishly, I hope they sent an invitation to somebody I went to high school with who is now completely and truly off her rocker because that would be really funny. Just hope there is no open bar, right?

If I have lunch it’s with friends, or family. I’m kind of past the stage of the Melrose Place power suit and lunch. I don’t even like wearing make up unless I pretty much have to. Maybe that is a subconscious thing in me revolting from the years gone by where you had to wear make up, suits, and pantyhose to work. Or maybe it’s just because I find the whole idea of this so utterly boring. Or maybe it’s a combination of both.

When I lunch with the ladies, they’re my ladies. We’ve known each other for years and we’re getting together. Or it’s a quick hour with a colleague. But it’s not something super contrived in a restaurant where I can buy my own lunch.

Things I have observed about super marketing over the years includes often in the marketing departments it’s hype and fluff, but in reality can they deliver? Or is it just about the hype and a golden façade and you are never supposed to see behind the magic curtain?

Dining en masse with strangers so you can be sold something isn’t my idea of fun. Sorry.

And please, can someone tell me why any of us truly should stay on LinkedIn? And does anyone ever really get anything beneficial out of their paid platform?

Life is just a funny place to be some days. And then there is LinkedIn. Thanks for stopping by.