LinkedIn has always been the social media platform that keeps things professional: free of former friends and exes, it's where you take people you want to keep firmly in the colleague zone. It's been a nice way to keep things less fraught in this age of selfies and flirting through favorites on Twitter. The detente between LinkedIn and human romantic need is now over. It turns out that some LinkedIn users are networking with hopes of a more romantic connection. This means that that LinkedIn message asking you to grab coffee can actually mean more than just coffee.
Another dating site. Though its intended purpose is to help users keep tabs on their career connections and facilitate networking with people in their field, over the last few years it has, for some users, also become a place to troll for dates. Personally, I receive more messages from guys hitting on me than I do from people looking for professional advice or opportunities. If it is a certifiable trend, it's both interesting and problematic. But when we spoke to both male and female LinkedIn users who claimed they had been approached on the site, most of them also expressed that they no longer saw it as a safe space devoid of sexual tension. Which is fair: Once the line between what LinkedIn is designed for professional networking and what some people seem to be using it for dating becomes blurred, things can get pretty complicated.
And most people on LinkedIn — and at work — want to be judged first as professionals. Most people want colleagues to be thinking about their competence, not whether they might want to make out with you. Dating within your professional circles can be messy.
We're all familiar with LinkedIn as a professional networking platform, but, with it being Valentine's Day, I think it's time to blend love and tech by visiting the idea of using LinkedIn to find love! Any other day of the year, this article might be a stretch for ZDNet; however, not only is this an exercise in searching for love, but you'll also be learning some investigative skills, as well as honing in on ways to use LinkedIn that will transpose well to professional endeavors you may seek in the future. So keep that in mind and, without further ado, let's get this party started.