Rodney Smith

Recently I saw the following on my "Who you may know" page on LinkedIn.


Unassuming to those who don't know my personal life / network, but Rodney was a good friend of mine who died in 2004 from pneumonia due to a weakened immune system caused by diabetes. He died at the age of 29.

My initial reaction to seeing my dead friend pop up on a social media network was anger. “How could LinkedIn let this happen! How can they drudge up these memories!” I realized after several minutes of crying that this wasn’t something to be particularly angry about. In fact, I was happy to be reminded of my friend.

The first line of the LinkedIn User Agreement states that "The mission of LinkedIn is to connect the world’s professionals to enable them to be more productive and successful.” Strangely, I think that this serendipitous “who you may know”, while probably inadvertent and undesired from a UX standpoint, aligns with their goal above. 

This choice run-in with an old friend was unexpected, but I'm glad it happened. 

RIP Rodney


Ryan Bruner