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Sync your life, not your phone

Old NY Times Building

Old NY Times Building (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

LinkedIn annoys me every time I use their mobile app. It asks me if I want to sync my contacts with my phone. I have a lot of contacts and I say “no thanks” each time. Even though they’re only first degree contacts, it should be pretty obvious to LinkedIn’s app designers that I’m not interested in this feature.

Apps are beautiful things but they are kind of like “Software Lite” to me: not nearly the same great taste as the regular software (found on desktop computers), but definitely less filling. The smaller footprint is always welcome. But with it comes the neglect of addressing what users really want. In the case of my LinkedIn phone app, I would like it to stop nagging me to sync my contacts with my phone.

Granted, I don’t have time to contact the app’s developers so I have endured hundreds, if not thousands of requests at log-in, for this process to occur. Predictive technology like smart texting (my name for it) where your phone suggests words to you, or something similar, should be put into play. After denying requests to sync my contacts to my phone for say, the one-hundredth time, well, that should be where the app learns my preference is not to be bothered any more about it.

Would you like a ham and cheese sandwich, Bob?” Now there’s a request I’d consider. Throw in free, unfreaky fast delivery and you might have me take you up on it. But syncing all of my contacts? It’s like telling a dog not to bark when they hear something. No matter how many times you try, they’ll still bark. That’s where the term “attention whore,” I mean, “hound,” comes from. LinkedIn’s incessant requests to sync my contacts are always there for me.

English: New York, New York. Newsroom of the N...

English: New York, New York. Newsroom of the New York Times newspaper. Reporters and rewrite men writing stories, and waiting to be sent out. Rewrite man in background gets the story on the phone from reporter outside. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

People tell me to just stay logged in. But I’m not one of those people who spend hours on LinkedIn or, truth be told, anywhere on the Internet. The days where surfing could lead to hours and hours of wasted time are no more for me. I understand people would give up sex for the Internet. I’m not one of them.

If we try and look at things like the LinkedIn app from another, less negative perspective, we could see where it could teach us patience if not persistence. The app’s designers (and LinkedIn), really want my contacts there synced to my phone.

A rule of thumb with respect to phone contacts is I must know them. While I have had wonderful, albeit brief, professional written interludes with non-amateur (professional) acquaintances on LinkedIn, I don’t want to accidentally dial them on the phone because my tired eyes mistakenly lead my stumbling fingers to them after the LinkedIn app syncs them up.

The smart phone can be not so smart after all. Or it is at least only as smart as its owner.

“Hello?”

“Hello?”

“Who is this?”

“Who is this?”

“Stop repeating me.”

“Stop repeating me.”

“This is the New York Times.”

“Seriously? The New York Times?”

“Yes.”

“Why are you calling me?”

“You called us.”

“Oh.”

“Who are you, sir?”

“I’m Bob Skelley.”

The Bob Skelley of hittingthesweetspot by Bob Skelley?”

“Yes sir, it is I. You’ve heard of me?”

“Well, actually, your resume is on my desk.”

“Really? One of my high school teachers signed my year book, “Hope to see your byline in the NY Times someday! Is that what this is about?”

“No sir, you called us if you remember.”

“Well, no, I actually can’t say for sure that I remember dialing you. You see I accidentally synced all my LinkedIn contact stuff to my phone. I maybe somehow dialed you guys, but it does seem serendipitously intervened. You say you have my resume?”

“Yes, seems you applied for our business editor position.”

“Since we have you on the phone, we’d like to invite you to speak with us about the job, provided you’re still interested of course.”

“Sure, sure, I’m still interested. Do we have to sync anything up for this to occur?”

“What?”

“Never mind.”

I’ll never knock LinkedIn again. At least not for a while.”

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