If Corrie's Blanche had been on LinkedIn she would not have been impressed
A few years ago there was a scene in Coronation Street where Deidrie Barlow, played by Anne Kirkbride, is preparing Sunday lunch.
Watched by her mother Blanche, played by the brilliantly comedic and now sadly deceased Maggie Jones, Deidre takes a packet of ready-made Yorkshire puddings out of the freezer.
Blanche screws up her face in disgust and exclaims: "Shop-bought Yorkshires - it's the convenience culture gone mad!"
Her point is well made - often there is great value in the effort ...
I have already broken off from writing this blog as another 'via LinkedIn' email has landed in my inbox.
It is an endorsement - how kind. Except that it is from someone who, while they may be on my contacts list, I have never met, spoken to or to my knowledge had any dealings with professional or otherwise.
Flattering as it may be it is also baffling. Why would such a person endorse me? For all they know I am a hopeless incompetent who could not be trusted to boil an egg.
This process began last year when LinkedIn, a business-focused social media site, simplified its mechanism for endorsements.
Previously, endorsing someone required a little bit of effort. You actually had to describe in your own words why you were so impressed by the person you were endorsing.
However, now the act of endorsing someone merely requires a couple of mouse clicks - job done.
Hence we have now an epidemic of people on LinkedIn endorsing one another.
I remarked on my Twitter feed: "Within a few months everyone on LinkedIn will have endorsed each other - so what really was the point?"
Within seconds a number of people had re-tweeted my tweet and others sent me a message saying they agreed, so this is obviously not just an issue for me.
I haven't endorsed anyone on this new system. This is partly because as a business journalist I have to try to maintain a degree of objectivity and mainly because I believe the mechanism is so simple to use that the value of such endorsements is now questionable.
In recent years, people have often talked about the "power of social media".
And powerful it is indeed and in the LinkedIn endorsement mechanism we now also see an example of its limitations.
As a marketing tool or as a way of furthering a cause its power comes from being part of a wider effort.
Thus, the online petition to have the Hillsborough disaster cover-up debated in Parliament was part of a much bigger co-ordinated campaign on which people had beavered away for years.
The influence of Twitter in the popular uprisings of the Arab Spring has been frequently cited, however it was direct action that brought about real change.
Anyone who uses Facebook or Twitter will be aware of the various causes that pop up on timelines.
"Click here/retweet if you support blah blah blah ..." each one will say. And we click on it and retweet and it makes us feel like we've done something real that day. And how convenient it was.
In many cases that feeling is an illusion. That mouse click, even if it's one of millions, has made not a jot of difference to anything.
Technology has opened up avenues of direct communication barely conceivable not so long ago. However, taking that extra bit of time, making that extra bit of effort, still carries huge value.
If you really want to endorse someone then do it properly. Articulate why you think this person or business is worth checking out. If you believe in a cause, then get involved, stand up.
If these things really matter to us then they deserve more than just the click of a mouse.