I have a very weird story about LinkedIn that has puzzled me for three years.
It actually began six years ago, when I started my very first term of college ever, at Bridgewater College in Virginia. Bridgewater required that every student take a class called “Personal Development Portfolio.” It was kind-of a weird class. We read Siddhartha, and the Sermon on the Mount, and a lot of random philosophers.
There were only about ten students in the class, and for some reason the other students really disliked me. One day we had to take a bus somewhere and do a service project, and no one let me sit by them, which was the kind of weird petty thing that happened in books but that I’d never actually seen in real life.
To be honest, it was the first time in my life that I’d ever felt disliked, and it was kinda tough because I didn’t know what I was doing wrong (though looking back I have a few guesses). Now, granted, I’m sure it wasn’t literally the first time anyone had ever disliked me, but it was the first time the dislike was obvious enough for an oblivious person like me to notice it.
I only went to Bridgewater College for one term, and then I moved back to Oregon and went to community college, which was, to be honest, a much less snobby and entitled environment.
Three years ago I took a journalism class. The teacher required us, as part of the class, to set up a LinkedIn profile.
In my profile I said that I went to Bridgewater College in 2010, but that’s the only info I disclosed about my time there.
Imagine my surprise, then, when LinkedIn sent me an email suggesting I connect with, of all people, a girl that had been in that class. One of the one’s who’d disliked me. We didn’t have any connections in common. We hadn’t had any contact with each other since I’d left. Yet there she was.
This has continued to happen throughout the past three years. One by one, LinkedIn has sent me emails with the LinkedIn profiles of various members of that class, trying to get me to connect. I just got another one this morning.
I don’t get it.
Besides the people in that one tiny class, no one else from Bridgewater College has ever been suggested to me as a connection.
No one from that class has mutual connections with me.
No one else has ever been suggested to me as a possible connection unless we already have some mutual connections.
After I left Bridgewater, I had no connection anywhere on the internet with anyone from that class.
I just don’t get it.
While I was attending that class I did, once, send an email to the whole class through my personal email. But surely LinkedIn doesn’t have access to my email records? And if they do, wouldn’t I get connection suggestions about the gazillions of other people I’ve emailed in the past six years?
I am completely baffled.