STOP using Linkedin like a Dating Site!

Now that we are all taking about “workplace harassment”, I couldn’t help but bring this up.

It has been almost a decade I made a profile on Linkedin, with a sheer intention to highlight my professional abilities & skills to be able to reach out to professionals across industries.
Like me there a million women who use this tool to be found by their dream organizations and also stay on the same page as their industry counterparts across the world.
Linkedin is a purely a professional site, its design & features try to not make it like any other casual site such as facebook or instagram.

Despite this understanding there has been not one month in this decade that I have not received a message which is breaking into my personal space, making me uncomfortable & screaming “CREEPY” from men. Messages range from requests to giveaway my number so that ” They could call or whatsapp” or telling me how beautiful my photo looks.
 Ladies, how many of you are in the same boat??
Sometimes there were messages asking me to meet up since this man was in town, REALLY??
 Most of these men use recruitment or networking as their shield.
 And yes stalking follows soon after with repeating “Hi’s and hello’s”. Personal questions like are you married or Available, where do you live? Lets meet for some coffee? Your DP is so sexy!!!!
Sometimes a persistent one will do anything to get your number and will make that call to tell you how you are so pretty for your age and blah, blah, blah (You get the drift).
If you are an ex-colleague I understand or if I know you through somebody fair enough but if you are someone I have just connected with, and have no valid reason to catch up with, not right!
Before you make these bold moves,YOU NEED TO ASK ME FOR MY PERMISSION, RIGHT?!
If a woman allows you to get close, fair enough but if she said No, treat it as a final “NO”.
To such men, LinkedIn becomes a platter of desirable women to stalk,or harass, apart from their very own offices and despite being “Happily”married in many cases.

I have learned how to deal with this in my own ways, but what about women who have not?
What is so difficult for these men to understand?
I am a professional and here on this site for a purpose, if you want to date me find me on Tinder or somewhere else; if you don’t find me there, it probably means I am not looking for the same thing as you! What they don’t seem to understand is also a single screenshot of your creepy messages, could be posted on LinkedIn  or shared with the police and it can ruin all you future career prospects, along with your charming reputation.
Sometimes I feel, what a woman puts on her resume or skill-set, it all  boils down how desirable is she?

Every professional has a right to be able to display what they have to offer professionally and likewise there is logical protocol to reach out to one. If you have a job offer please declare it or send a JD, being too secretive about everything about a job you are offering makes you look less professional and more creepy.
Networking! yes, it is the buzz, but you’d know better how to do that correctly, pushing for a coffee date, hmm not happening!
Over the years I have met some great professionals on this platform and have interacted with them often, I have learnt a lot and wish to do this always. Can we all try and keep the sanctity of this platform? 

MEN, this is what  I have to say to you – Not all men are like this, I know that well , but there are plenty such creeps out there. This Could be your colleague or friend or almost anyone from your team you know. If you thing this practice is incorrect, please intervene, teach the others a word or two about maintaining a professional decorum. Teach these boys to download the real dating sites and not waste their time & effort ruining their professional image.

WOMEN, this is what  I have to say to you – Speak up, don’t hesitate even for a minute to report such matters to LinkedIn, in the person’s organization and the cops eventually. Most of the men are encouraged because they know the woman won’t react much no matter how low he stoops.You must give the man a chance to back off, but if you feel, its high time, do what your gut tells you! 

LEADERS, this is what  I have to say to you – As leaders you must make sure everyone under your team or the brand name of your organisation understands the implications of such inapproriate acts. Educate them, make them understand , make them aware. After all, this is the least you can do build equality in the professional world!
 

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