I’m not a serial LinkedIn connector, but last night I did scroll down through the “You may know these people list.” Basically, LinkedIn finds people with whom you share numerous connections and suggests that you might know them too.
There were colleagues, classmates, and friends-of-friends, but then it got weird. There were people I didn’t know at all. The only common denominator was that they were affiliated Jews. The list went on and on with 2nd degree connections named “Joel” and “Greenberg”. I stopped looking when a guy I dated appeared (no, that’s not a professional network connection).
I guess to a certain extend Facebook does the same thing, but it doesn’t display the degrees of separation or the number of connections. I mean, who are those six friends I share in common with Judith Isenstein? Or Gila Horowitz? Why haven’t we met until now at some Shabbos meal?
And what about those five connections to Yitz Fryman, attorney, Greater New York Area? He’s not even in my age group. Why do so many of my colleagues know a lawyer?
And what’s up with Ari Levovitz, EIT? I thought I’ve been set up with every engineer in the tri-state area already. Is he new? Or is he married?
OK, time to stop. This way lies some sort of stalking. I put my foot down and refuse to click to see who our connections are. But here’s the basis for a tool that could map the entire orthodox Jewish world! Just imagine: when you meet someone you wouldn’t have to ask ab0ut their school or city. You’d just load up the Jewish Geography app and check:
“Hm, we share a connection to Zalman. How do you know him? I worked as a summer camp counselor with him. And you know Sarah! She was my neighbor growing up in Teaneck…”