Last week while happily (and innocently) networking on LinkedIn, my husband came across an unusual request. An introduction from a matchmaker that had the perfect girl for him: career driven, successful, attractive, but too time poor to find a mate. And not his wife. No doubt secretly a little flattered but slightly unarmored, my husband showed me the email and the profile of the girl that sent him the request.
The request was well written, the profile credible and lacked the usual telltale signs of someone set to swindle an innocent lonely heart out of their life savings. So after an initial giggle, it twigged:
Is LinkedIn the Tinder for professionals?
Most of us are familiar with LinkedIn as the social platform for career networking. After all, LinkedIn helps you position your expertise in your industry, can get you a job and show off your credentials. But can it help you find love?
Yes… according to the Internet.
A Google search unearths stories as far back as 2012 (amazed to only be learning about this now!) verifying not everyone is looking for professional relationships on LinkedIn. Dating agencies and the odd fella or lady are seemingly plucking up the courage on LinkedIn for more than just business.
There’s an app for that
Social media has no doubt changed the way we find love forever. The deeper you dig, the more likely it is you’ll find an app. And sure enough there is a LinkedIn dating app.
BeLinked (previously LinkedUp) is a LinkedIn dating app that makes dating on LinkedIn possible. It’s a Tinder-style app that syncs with a user’s LinkedIn account. BeLinked shows users in close GPS proximity with their profession, hometown, and connections. The app also lets users filter potential mates by job, industry, age, and gender. Like Tinder, if two users both give each other the thumbs up, they are matched to chat.
BeLinked is the only iPhone-dating app that connects professional people on LinkedIn in the interest of “a deeper connection”.
Mixing business with pleasure
While apps like BeLinked, don’t have any official affiliation with LinkedIn, they do require you sign in with your LinkedIn account.
While some praise the app as a clever way to find ‘Mr or Mrs Right’, others criticise the deliberate mix of business and pleasure. Surely there has to be a line… right?
While the lure of finding ‘the one’ through shared interests such as a common skill set or work is tempting, LinkedIn just isn’t the place for it.
Using a third party app like BeLinked can minimise risk as it only pairs you with other professionals with the same intentions.
BUT (for what its worth) in my view, not only has it got HR and PR disaster written all over it (see: Sexism row after top lawyer compliments woman barrister’s ‘stunning’ LinkedIn picture… then claims he was talking about the ‘professional quality’ of the photo), unwarranted advances from young suitors (male or female), is not only offensive but demeans hardworking professionals.
In short: LinkedIn is not a lonely-hearts club.
Have you been approached on LinkedIn for more than just business?
Share your experience below.
See you next week