2 min read

The Current State of LinkedIn (and Why We've Gotten Here)

Underneath it all exists a vicious cycle of learned behavior. It’s the perfect example of people being sheep.

45-second read

The following is an overview of my opinion on the current state of LinkedIn and why it’s become what it has.

First, an observation: Sure, people are generally insecure and fearful of becoming irrelevant. On the extreme end, some even run through these virtual streets with hyper-inflated egos hopped up on shots of false confidence spewing out anything that will give them the feedback they need to feel valid. Truth be damned. Just tell me I matter!

Regardless of the level, it’s all an attempt to feel like you’re worth something. (Aka, desperately trying to feel loved.) But underneath it all exists a vicious cycle of learned behavior. It’s the perfect example of people being sheep.

Ok, here we go…

Inspiring thought, creating dialogue, establishing context, and seeking nuance have taken a back seat to overly agreeable, obvious, context-void, and general. Why? Because that's what the minions on LinkedIn applaud.

Why? Because these minions—in true minion fashion—are too lazy to think for themselves: open up to new ideas, engage in healthy dialogue (god forbid healthy discourse), find the nuances in the cracks, and demand that context be established when it’s not.

Let’s face it, usefulness takes effort and a willingness to be challenged. It's far too uncomfortable, scary, and triggering to exist on the edges where real conversation can actually happen.  

These minions then get placed under the evil spell of FOMO. Their anecdote: start creating their own posts within the same trite, banal guardrails that produce the kind of Likes that make them feel as if strangers on the internet actually like them. Ah, the warm blankie of false validation soothes all self-doubt…for now.

And the vicious cycle continues.

That, my friends, is why LinkedIn is where it is today. It doesn’t have to be like this, though.

It's much more fun, rewarding, and meaningful to exist on the edges with the small crew of brave outcasts who trade engagement for usefulness, progress, and curiosity. You might suffer more insecurity, but at least your intentions will be pure. And hell, you might even make a difference.

You choose.

Hey, I get it. I’m part of the problem. I’m just some dude who posts stuff in hopes that others will think I'm smart or competent or worth following. If I really lay down on the couch and work through it, my motivations are probably 90% ego-driven—rooted in some kind of lack of self-worth. Duh!

That said, even if my ego is driving this car, I know when to take the off-ramp and exit this hollow highway before it crumbles beneath me. Let’s just say that my blinker is on.

In the spirit of validation, feel free to give this post a Like on LinkedIn. (Irony is good for the soul, ain't it 😉)