Don't get me wrong--I love LinkedIn. It is my go-to for researching all sorts of people. It is my way to keep up on what friends and former co-workers are doing (or, if they are freelancers like me, what they have done at some point). And, while I have rarely been actively recruited through LinkedIn, it is a way to keep myself "out there" without lifting a finger (kind of like that business I always dreamed of having that would, once up and running, create income on its own).
But when I get those congratulatory messages, I am reminded that LinkedIn, much like anything else in life, is only as good as what you put into it. While we all might long for that business that makes money on its own, mostly, we make money because we scramble, and create, and work hard. While we all might want to be seen and understood, mostly, we become visible when we speak up for ourselves. And while we all might wish for a LinkedIn profile that makes us appear dynamic and talented and professionally desirable, that LinkedIn profile is only as good as what we continue to put into (and take out of) it.
I am happy for the congratulations--they remind me of the things I've done, and of the people who still know my name. But they also remind me that social media is still only as good as what we make it. And that perhaps it's time to update my profile.