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A cartoon depicting a sad work anniversary

RubbedIn

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Not every anniversary is a cause for celebration. And while the narrative LinkedIn would like you to believe in is career success upon success, a lot of stories are less Horatio Alger rags-to-riches and more Henry David Thoreau lives-of-quiet-desperation.

Similarly, Facebook’s marketing promotes a story that’s all about moments of joy, large and small. But algorithms based on overly cheerful assumptions tend to bring those contradictions to the surface – sometimes pretty roughly, as Facebook users keep discovering.

Thing is, many of the times my online social networks have proven most important to me have been the hard moments – the stumbles, tragedies, failures, disappointments. Sharing the pain, finding a shoulder, getting advice and encouragement: these are every bit as valuable as the likes and smiley-face stickers you get for a cute video of your kid, or a humblebrag about a professional triumph.

I wouldn’t mind seeing an ad campaign for Facebook or LinkedIn that played up those benefits as well. At the very least, let’s acknowledge that everyone’s life is a lot messier than it looks in our profiles and timelines.

Correction

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There’s a filter most people have in their brain. It ensures there’s a safe distance between the mouth and that part of the cerebral cortex that identifies errors in other people’s work. As news of the error makes its way mouthwards, this filter steps in and says, “Hold on. Is this really important? Will identifying this error do more harm than good? Is there any way this person can do anything about it, or will you just make them feel bad?”

You may be familiar with this filter because you have one yourself. If so, do you happen to have a spare?

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This, by the way, is my reaction any time I notice even the tiniest error in my own stuff. You can imagine how I reacted to noticing the relationship between the doorknob and the hand in this cartoon.

That’s what friends are for

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A while back, a friend of mine wondered about LinkedIn‘s somewhat limited options for indicating how you know someone. (“I vomited on their shoes at the office party” isn’t on the list, for example.) We had a back-and-forth on her blog, and I came up with a list of some potentially useful additions to LinkedIn’s categories.

The difference

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(woman to man at bar who is using mobile phone) What are you doing..? Omigod! You're checking out my LinkedIn profile, aren't you?!

Due diligence

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