I just read that the professional networking site LinkedIn is being used by many as a dating app.
I’ve been familiar with LinkedIn almost the whole time I’ve been with Global Gaming Business. It was launched in 2003, a year after I started here, as a social media site dedicated to professional development, job-seeking, and a way for professionals in all industries to network with each other. I was encouraged early on to establish my LinkedIn profile. At first, it seemed like a bit of a vanity site, as I constantly received emails that I had been “endorsed” by my connections for any number of skills, asking me to “endorse” them back, starting a chain reaction of mutual stroking.
I’ve been endorsed by others on LinkedIn for everything from writing to editing to marketing to communications to carpentry to animal husbandry. (OK, not carpentry.) I have over 500 connections, and 1,519 “followers.” I plan to gather all my followers together at some point, maybe at a nice Hilton hotel ballroom, so I can give them a motivational speech. Maybe I’ll even start a cult.
Seriously, though, as time has gone by, I’ve come to rely on LinkedIn, not only to connect with peers and colleagues, but to get titles correct on executives I’m writing about. The site also includes work histories, which I use extensively when putting articles together.
But I never thought of it as a potential dating site.
Not that I ever used a dating site or dating app, having been married nearly 40 years. The last time I was single, a dating app was going into a bar and looking for a pretty woman who was sitting alone. It was a very unreliable app, in my experience.
But even if LinkedIn (or the internet, for that matter) had existed when I was last single in early 1984, I wouldn’t have considered it as a place to cruise for women. But according to Business Insider, a lot of people have been considering LinkedIn as a social media site where eligible mates can be discerned through their workplaces.
It makes sense. You can actually find someone to date who verifiably has a job. You can look for lawyers and doctors, or CEOs. People are posting to connections on what they do in their time off, so you can find people not only with jobs and money, but with similar interests. (“After work, I like to go to art museums, take in the opera, and hang out with circus clowns.”)
“I’m always looking for someone who has a stable career, who is preferably well off,” one female LinkedIn member commented to Business Insider. “Not to say that I’m looking for sugar daddies, but someone who can take care of themselves.”
A recent Financial Times article also reported on LinkedIn’s use as a dating app. That article told the stories of several people who found love and got married to LinkedIn connections. The article also reported that a new app called “LinkedUp” has been launched using the networking site’s information but not endorsed by LinkedIn. It allows users to peruse the database to source a love match. Users “like” profiles based on their endorsements and potential earning power. “Presumably, in the case of job-hoppers, it could also give an indication of commitment phobia,” the article wrote.
Yes, folks are always finding new ways to use the internet. But I’m sometimes baffled by the generation that has grown up with social media. Just after I read about the LinkedIn dating thing, I found an article in Psychology Today that said FOMO is being replaced by JOMO.
FOMO, evidently, is an emotional state that has arisen from the age of social media. It means “Fear Of Missing Out.” People read on social media sites about all the fun everyone else is having and become jealous, and resist commitments to any plans because they might be missing out on something better.
(No, I didn’t get it either.)
The article says a healthier alternative is JOMO—Joy Of Missing Out. “In its optimal state,” the article said, “(JOMO is) when people can be fully present and engaged in what is actually happening in their lives, rather than comparing themselves to others who seem to be having more fun.”
My own conclusion to all this: Social media is making some young people into neurotic wing-nuts. I’m making a new acronym: FOWM. It means “Fear Of Whiny Millennials.”
At this point, I’m not going to worry about how social media has evolved. Still, I’m adding this to my LinkedIn profile:
“Enjoys music, fine dining and walking on the beach.”