Many of us have accepted some loss of privacy as the price of being on the wonderful, wonderful, Internet.
I belong to LinkedIn, in my work career life. LinkedIn is a social network for the business community.
My preference is to keep my business and my blogging life totally separate. I do not, in fact, normally accept invites from other bloggers who are not in my career field, because I do not earn my living by blogging or writing. (Come to think of it, that is worth a post of its own.) Nor do I network with people on LinkedIn unless I know them personally, or know of them by reputation. Even if I know them personally as friends (true friends, not Facebook friends), I also need to know something about their professional lives, and will not "endorse" them unless I am certain of what they do, and how well they do it.
LinkedIn has a feature by which you can ask them to use your email address to find out people you may know on LinkedIn. So far, I have chosen not to use that feature.
Which is why I was surprised to find an email from LinkedIn suggesting I might want to make networking contacts with some people. That in itself didn't surprise me; I get those emails from time to time. What did surprise me was the people the LinkedIn email suggested.
The people they suggested are people whose email addresses I have - but not because of my work life. No, these are contacts from my caregiving life. A man at the VA (Veterans Administration) I've spoken to a couple of times, and emailed a document to once. A woman who has done some work for my family, which included me needing to email her. A couple of more people that, again, I have no professional associations with. I only had their emails because I needed to communicate with them by email for them to complete a service.
And, oh yes, one of my cousins. A cousin who is 40 years younger than me and, again, in a totally different career field than I am.
One person may have been a coincidence. Maybe some people I know in my professional life have one such person in their network. But several, listed all at once? Coincidence? I don't think so. It looks like LinkedIn has decided it will go through my address book, after all, although I never knowingly gave my consent.
I didn't like it. But, if I want to stay on LinkedIn, I am going to have to live with it.
And, if you do invite me to network on LinkedIn, please know why I may not. I don't know if I am being too picky, but I feel this is what I need to do.
If you are on LinkedIn (I promise I won't try to contact you), have you had similar experiences? Do you welcome anyone to link with you? Or, do you use certain criteria?