September 28, 2022

Slightly controversial: LinkedIn becomes “Facebook” for adults

linkedin, facebook, mental health, content, pc, professional development, psychology, sales,

Change the unchangeable, accept the unchangeable, and remove yourself from the unacceptable.

Denis Waitley

I’ve been thinking lately how social media, mainstream media and other comm channels give general information with a pristine care as to not insult anyone. Given how humanity and social dynamics has become so fragile in acquiring critique of any kind, I decided I will poke a little bit into slightly controversial topics. First of which, something I’ve been wanting to do for the longest time, the frighteningly fast metamorphosis of LinkedIn social media website, and not for the better to say the least. I removed myself from any kind of social media website that isn’t strictly business-oriented, for many reasons, one being my mental health and unnecessary distractions (I might consider writing an article specifically on that). LinkedIn is one of the best social media websites to exist, in my humble opinion, and it helped me so much throughout my career I can’t even count. The majority of my informal education can be thankful for LinkedIn’s content and career advice which is free for anyone to read and yet doesn’t have a price (ironically enough, there are many expensive  courses with the same information so go figure). In the past, I got 3 jobs just by communicating through the website and it has helped immensely to build a personal brand which speaks for itself to anyone interested in my or anyone’s profile/expertise. Yesterday, I woke up, clicked the LinkedIn icon on my mobile phone because I had a notification and saw a trending post of a person who is my connection. The post contained a photo of person posing in a bathing suit supposedly communicating to us that they are enjoying their vacation. I immediately closed the application because I thought I accidentally entered Facebook, even though I don’t use it. Upon opening it again, the refreshed feed showed a person posting a picture of their newly born. Needless to say, I closed it again for at least a day.

So my question here, ladies and gentlemen, what happened here? How did a professional website intended for intellectual use become „Facebook“ for adults? I’m counting on some backlash because, as anything else, LinkedIn is a platform for selling services as well so some forms of posts require leisure and more informal communication but a line should be drawn. Let’s dissect.


Psychological aspect of glorifying narcissistic personality disorder

I mentioned mental health earlier and social media platforms, more than anything, promote unrealistic standards in any of the topics which prey on the human insecurity. The social dynamics and accomplishment expectation has become so low in standard that any endeavor or outcome has to get a standing ovation as to give recognition of excellence to something that is in pragmatic and honest sense mediocre at best. Obviously, when we were children we also expected some form of validation from others so that we can feed our fragile ego and try to grasp a sense as to why we exist and what our purpose is. I remember 15 years ago posting song lyrics as Facebook statuses so my known acquaintance can notice between the lines that I’m communicating between those lines my attraction to her. I counted my likes on those statuses so the algorithm can promote it more. The dopamine rush was incredible and a sense of achievement was felt.

Why does it look like LinkedIn does the same thing in a regurgitated way and revives the „inner child“ in many people? I will gladly congratulate you for being promoted to a desired career goal but I don’t care about your personal life and need for validation outside of intellect areas.


A sales platform

Everything is sales today and LinkedIn is no different. I’m happy that an individual can use its features to promote their expertise and make a living but as mentioned earlier, the standard has become so low that people are trying to sell ice to a polar bear. Not only that but anyone can slap a term „influencer“ on their headline today and immediately they are experts on the topic. In the sea of the so called experts, it’s difficult to find individuals who know what they’re talking about. Instead, you get regurgitated information from one source which is slightly changed through semantics and posted a week later as a new and original material. If an individual has an x amount of followers, they are experts, regardless of the actual evidence that they are knowledgeable on the subject. But not to be so grim, good on them for finding the way to a success.

I want LinkedIn to sell me information which can be used in actual practice, something which hasn’t been mentioned a dozen of times before in different tones, something without a personal agenda and the need to be validated. Of course, this might seem too much to ask if we put all the known facts from the beginning of the article into the equation.


Takeaway

So what’s the takeaway for people who share my opinion or at least partially agree? The only thing we can do is be more observant and selectable in the content we choose to absorb, not to mention the social media platform we choose. Excellence and originality will become more and more scarce as time goes by as well as mental health getting deteriorated by content with no relation to professional topics and personal development. The deeper we dive, the scarier it gets. Keep your mind sharp!