Connecting to people we don’t know and can’t recall on LinkedIn is wasting our time

Time you could be spending sewing face masks, baking sourdough, looting stores or waiting for Q’s next cryptic instruction

Alan Jones

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Let’s consider whether adding another connection to another stranger is actually going to help you achieve anything, or whether the value of your time is actually all going to Microsoft (which owns LinkedIn).

How many contacts can you really stay up-to-date with?

LinkedIn says I’m connected to 7,881 people. If they all just post an update once a month (some of them post once a day, some of them once a year) and I spend on average about a minute reading each update and choosing a reaction emoji, that’s 94,572 minutes a year.

That’s impossible, of course. We simply can’t do what LinkedIn says it wants us to do — to stay connected with everyone we know professionally on LinkedIn, while also holding down a job.

How much is your lost LinkedIn time worth?

I may have more LinkedIn connections than most LinkedIn users, but look at your own numbers, and do the math. Can you show it’s definitively led to a job offer, promotion, pay rise or new customer worth that many minutes of your time each year? How about over five years? If I do that math, using my average hourly rate over the past five years, I’d have to make more than a million additional dollars in that five year period. I’m pretty sure I would have noticed that happening by now!

And that’s before you account for LinkedIn trying to stop you staying up-to-date with everyone

For most of us, a lot of updates scroll off the bottom of the LinkedIn feed before we ever see them. Many hours are wasted by posting updates we’ll probably never see. The more people you’re connected to, the more of their time you’re wasting and the less effective you’re making your own networking time on LinkedIn.

There’s a button at the bottom of your LinkedIn feed. It’s there all the time. I’ll bet that unless you’re working in product…

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Alan Jones

I’m a coach for founders, partner at M8 Ventures, angel investor. Earlier: founder, early Yahoo product manager, tech reporter. Latest: disrupt.radio