So some smart techno-boffins in the backblocks of Bangalore have come up with BeLinked, the dating app that draws upon your Linked In profile and pairs you up with allegedly like-minded professionals.
It’s like Tinder for the grown-up and employed and allows the swipe-righters amongst us to trawl the urban professionals with slightly less risk of ending up on a blind date with a taxi driver.
In theory it all sounds great. You are connecting with those in your industry, presumably also your socio-demographic and likely someone with the credit-card balance necessary to foot the obstetrics bill as your baby-daddy.
But it has all the inherent perils of mixing business with pleasure. Here’s a few.
It’s a headshot. It’s the ‘you can trust me with your $70milliion project’ not ‘I’m totally able to go shot-for-shot with you in Tequila laybacks’. In reality the answer is somewhere in between. My linked-in photo is one taken upon exit from a seven day stint at a health-spa. I’m all fresh faced, sparkly eyed and eminently capable, not the girl that wakes up dusty after a few too many sauv blancs after a night on the tiles. In the photo, I’m just far too Gwyneth and not quite enough vodka lime and soda. No fun.
The fakers are still out there
Ironically, the unemployed amongst us have the most time on their hands to craft a fake Linked In profile. When your only commitment is a once-a-week appearance at Centrelink, you have ample time to select great pics and craft a creative backstory complete with a procession of roles within the Top 100 companies. The irony is that if you claim to work for any of the top 4 banks, the tier-one consulting companies or mining magnates, due to sheer weight of numbers, no one will ever figure that you are faking it.
If you do date within your industry, the consequences can be less than desirable. Someone you frivolously swiped, who seemed interesting and engaged when you chatted over lattes in South Melb may in actual fact turn out to be the mailroom dude at BMW Head Office and slightly less than the captain of industry that you might have imagined.
Dating the Competition
There’s a natural order of things. It’s fine to have a desire to connect with someone on a similar wavelength. It’s problematic to place yourself in competition with someone who will fight you to the death to be the one to capture the action points from last week’s board meeting. Its one thing to find someone who has similar goals, it’s another to find someone who will shred you mercilessly for a chance to curry favour in the boss’s eyes.
Embarrassing the Big Guy
There’s a chance that your married boss, smart enough to navigate the requirements of running a listed company, has not been clever enough to anonymise his appearance on a dating app. This leaves you with the Sophie’s Choice of the interwebs. Out your superior for playing away? Or stay mum and capitalise on the fact that someone is eternally grateful for your discretion.
There has to be some advantages? Really? Call them out in the comments.