One of my now contacts on LinkedIn viewed my LinkedIn profile daily for over a month, before he finally sent me a request to connect. LinkedIn, as dutiful as it is, kept sending me notification of the ‘stalker’ viewing my profile. Every day.
At first I was intrigued with his fondness to openly prowl my profile info but later it was a little disturbing. I didn’t understand what he expected me to accomplish within 24 hours that would be worth updating my LinkedIn profile.
Was he waiting for me to come of age? Will he offer me a full-ride scholarship? Am I one of the candidates for his wife-shopping spree? I highly doubt he was headhunting for a job position given the areas of his studies and mine, but even if he was considering me for a position, then he needs to find that thin line between stalking and headhunting for HR assignments.
I digress unnecessarily, my attention span is frivolous these days – a hallmark of a millennial, you might say– but I have a sobering news for my Habesha peeps. LinkedIn isn’t a dating site. Nor is it a hookup app. It is a business and employment-oriented social networking service as its official and operational definition indicates.
Networking doesn’t mean dating.
Out of my 700 and some contacts on LinkedIn, only the Habesha men (most but not all) have admired my profile picture but not my professional bio. It is as if my accomplishments and professional goals mean nothing or are invisible to their eyes.
I don’t think it has yet downed on Habesha men that a woman can peruse a career and plan on excelling in her field.
Have you ever stalked a man’s profile before you sent him a request to connect followed by a sleazy ‘hey Konjo….’ after he accepted the request? Then why on earth would you do that to a woman?
Once I received a strange message on LinkedIn that almost made me contact the geniuses behind the network service, I was going to politely ask for the T&C of the app and reread it in the presence of my lawyer. Was it a business and networking service for professionals or a dating app for high-achievers?
That ridiculous message read as follows:
“Before we even exchange pleasantries, I want to know if you have a man or not.” OMG! I stared at the text for a full five minutes, willing my mind to change the contents of the message. If I don’t have a man, will he then hire me? What would my job title be? I was asking myself questions.
- Did I miss something?
- Who the hell does he think he is?
- Who does he think I am?
- What made him think he is entitled to know what he is demanding to know?
- Do I educate or ignore his ignorant soul in the dark?
Finally, I decided to log out of my LinkedIn account for a week or so in my futile attempt to unseen what I have seen.
Alas I have zero expectation that I am not even asking you to design or create apps like LinkedIn but to at least use properly what has already been created and functioning well. I am not asking too much, am I? Please don’t mistake my frustration for misandry.
Also, I don’t remember putting a tourist guide on my profile but somehow most Habesha men(whom I only know via LinkedIn) seem to think that I would just abandon everything to show them around town when they happen to be in the Big Apple on vacation or business trips.
‘Konjo, I am going to be in New York next week, we should meet….’ After receiving such and more ridiculous messages, I go back to my profile and make sure my bio doesn’t include a tour guide as one of my flourishing businesses or career path.
If our acquaintance has been established and limited on LinkedIn, why would I ever meet you unless you are hiring, recruiting or partnering with me for a business? If professionalism is what brought us together in the first place, let’s remain professional and stick to the decorum of professionalism.
This might come as a surprise for most of you but women, just like your beer buddies, are independent beings full of dreams, zeal for life and endeavoring to excel in their respective profession professionally. Contrary to what you and your buddies discuss in the locker rooms, not all of us are so engrossed with getting hitched and chasing the ring. Some of us are on a journey to find ourselves and define who we are with indigenous and original meanings, something that is not borrowed from your definition of us or mansplained by you.
And if we are accomplished, established and blessed, it has nothing to do with wanting to ensnare a good husband or to be a trophy wife. Our accomplishments are not the add-ons that come with the package to catch your eyes when you happen to be wife-shopping in the weird stores. Our growth is the fruit of our struggles, persistent and perseverance in the fight for our emancipation and independence. Not everything we do is for or about you.
Dear Habesha men, the universe doesn’t revolve around you nor does our LinkedIn bios.