LinkedIn isn’t the first social network you think of when looking for love. But, like it or not, it’s become a critical part of the internet dating scene and all the sketchy stalking that comes with it.
Yes, the professional networking platform — so full of thirsty randos desperate to send you messages about their Kickstarter — has become a valuable resource for online daters. This database full of personal information, which most career-minded people feel obligated to join, makes for a perfect location to learn more about your matches… or to be a total creep.
Here’s the scenario: You’ve swiped right on some attractive person. As luck would have it, they’ve also swiped right! You’ve exchanged some brief messages. You make plans to meet. But you want to know more.
The illusion of online dating privacy gets whisked away with the use of LinkedIn.
Their profile gives painfully little information, and the conversation you’ve had has only given hints about their life. Also, their pictures all seem taken from one angle, and you want to know more about what they look like. You’d try to search for them on Facebook, but you know that its search is garbage and with only their first name, the city they live in, and maybe some bland information about their job, you’ll probably have no luck. Enter, LinkedIn.
With those scraps of information, it can be very easy to find someone on LinkedIn. And with that, comes a full name. Diligent searchers can then gain access to Facebook and so much else. The illusion of online dating privacy gets whisked away with the use of LinkedIn.
It’s a grey, sticky area of life on dating apps. One the one hand, it can be a relatively harmless bit of investigation to make sure who you’re meeting is the person they say they are. After all, they’re most likely Googling you as well. On the other hand, it’s a slippery slope that says nothing about respecting another person’s space and can quickly turn uber creepy. Like Uber, but for creepy.
And if you’re thinking that LinkedIn usually does a good job letting you know who’s lurking on your profile, Chrome’s Incognito Mode circumvents that, adding another layer of murkiness.
Using LinkedIn in this shifty manner might seem far fetched, but it definitely happens. In online detective work, it’s a multi-faceted tool. Though it can absolutely be used for evil.
If this poking into your privacy gives you pause, you can take steps to make your information more difficult to reach. While LinkedIn doesn’t have the best in privacy protection, you can choose to remove your profile from public view, so people can’t reach it via search engine. If that’s too drastic for you, you can choose to hide your picture, your job title, your education, etc., from people who aren’t connected to you on the social network.
It’s getting harder and harder to maintain online privacy in general. Things get even trickier when online dating comes into play, because you might actually want people to know a thing or two about your. It’s a moving standard that everyone has to set for themselves.
Just be aware that people use LinkedIn for way more than synergizing their networking solutions to maximize career potential :pushes up glasses:.