LinkedIn: Professional Network or Dating App?

By: Shira Karney

Pursuing romance through social media is not uncommon, a few people would even call it romantic. Sometimes it’s uncomfortable, alternatively it can lead to a hot hook-up or a long-term relationship. People may choose social media platforms instead of designated dating apps because they offer a broader range of people to choose from, people do not need to be matched to chat, and presents better ways to confirm identity.

LinkedIn, ‘The world’s largest professional network on the internet’ should take on the slogan ‘The app for finding your perfect match’ considering its taking charge in helping people find professional and romantic connections. Although the rule of thumb is not to mix business with pleasure, there are similarities in behaviour, actions, goals, and intentions between online dating and job hunting.

Some of these similarities include:

  • Putting yourself out there
  • Dressing to impress
  • Doing due research and gathering information
  • Being mindful of your words while staying true to your character
  • Boasting yourself a little
  • Looking for a match with what you want
  • Pondering the question at the end of it “Will they call? Did they like me?”

Even though there are apparent similarities between dating and job searching it’s still deemed inappropriate to use a professional networking app as a dating pool. Yet, there have been happy endings to it. So whether or not it’s acceptable depends on how it’s conducted, how it’s received and the outcome.

But it poses the question: Why use LinkedIn as a dating App? We’re familiar with social media apps such as Facebook and Instagram used for dating. They showcase parts of someone’s personal and social life that pose an appeal, but what options does LinkedIn bring to the dating pool that differs from the others?

Here are five reasons people find LinkedIn good for dating:

1. Profiles are more honest
On LinkedIn, you often find last names and verified information such as locations, connections, and places of work. On dating apps, people can choose to not put their last names. Also, there are very few ways to confirm that the information in the profile is correct.

2. Great for finding your ‘type’
It’s not unusual or shameful to have an agenda when looking to date, especially when doing an online search. It may not sound great said out loud, but when looking at the dating pool and going through a process of elimination, there are objectively some plans or goals in mind when choosing who to invest time and energy into. If you are looking for an ambitious, career-motivated individual, especially in a specific realm of work, LinkedIn is great for finding those factors.

3. Less likely to be a bot
If they are active on their LinkedIn and have a confirmed place of work and education that is up to date, likely, they are not a bot. Dating apps have bots that we can usually catch but sometimes trick us.

4. You do not need a mutual match to reach out
We understand why dating apps usually require a mutual match before you’re allowed to reach out, but sometimes it’s cool to have the opportunity to shoot your shot.

5. Great career-building or network opportunity
If the flirtatious message or date fails, it’s easy to cover up or make a great comeback by using the app’s initial purpose of offering a job opportunity. Although, you may not always want to work together afterwards.

As we said, it is risky business mixing work and pleasure. Ideally, we want networks such as LinkedIn to remain a safe, respectable, and professional space for people. Some people may be flattered by getting a flirty message on LinkedIn, while others may get uncomfortable. We can see why somebody would use LinkedIn as a source for finding a date, and most of the time, people are not actively searching through profiles to find a date, they stumble upon somebody they fancy and go from there. DO shut it down if somebody reaches out with a romantic prospect and you feel uncomfortable, but never forget that love can be discovered in the most unconventional and unintentional places.

Tags: linkedin, top story, topstory

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