THE BLOG
11/25/2014 02:51 pm ET Updated Jan 25, 2015

The Secret Lives of LinkedIn Users

I have over 1,250 LinkedIn connections. Most people would consider me an active LinkedIn user. Still, I don't have the faintest idea what I'm doing on LinkedIn. In search of answers, I surveyed hundreds of fellow users and asked them to describe what they do on LinkedIn. What astonished me was the distinction between their front stage and back stage behavior.

"What do you say you do on LinkedIn?"

1. Build my professional network.
2. Document my work experiences.
3. Showcase my technical capabilities.
4. Promote my personal brand.
5. Discover new career opportunities.
6. Share my expertise.

"What do you actually do on LinkedIn?"

1. Admire my own profile.
2. Debut a headshot that looks like my younger, better-looking sibling.
3. Edit my headline and summary ad nauseam.
4. Examine my credentials from the POV of my client/hiring manager.
5. Discover who my top stalkers are.
6. Neutralize their creepiness by stalking them back.
7. View a hottie's profile in the hopes that he or she reciprocates.
8. Connect with attractive people for no other reason than they're fun to stare at.
9. Request to connect with my crush from college who I never met in person.
10. Develop a sense of intimacy with Sheryl Sandberg, Mark Cuban, and other famous businesspeople who I'm following.
11. Rub my accomplishments unapologetically in the faces of those who doubted me.
12. Endorse borderline-strangers whose skills I know nothing about, with the expectation of receiving endorsements in exchange.

Let's connect on LinkedIn!