Sure, LinkedIn helps you connect with potential employers or interesting people in the professional world… but isn’t LinkedIn just another platform for self-promotion and -profiling? In the end, do we really benefit from using LinkedIn?
Endless pressure to succeed
Recently, one notices more and more posts like the one shown in the above picture. The reason for such posts lies in the incentives of LinkedIn. One is encouraged to present oneself as a brand as well as possible. Only this leads to a dynamic that knows no bounds. This is what the following list of points says, which LinkedIn increasingly demands of us:
- posting personal challenges
- commenting regularly on other posts
All this in order to continue to look interesting to the LinkedIn world (1). This dynamic can put social pressure on participating people, which is not unproblematic in times of #mentalhealth debates. Digitalisation makes it possible to do more tasks in the same amount of time. Studies such as the Job Stress Index 2020 show (2) that we feel more and more stressed these days; around 30% of those in employment feel emotionally exhausted. The fact that permanent stress can lead to burnout or depression, as the USZ states on its website, is no longer a secret (3). Younger people are particularly at risk, as they do not yet have sufficient strategies for coping with stress. Simply staying away from LinkedIn altogether is not easy either. Because as a student, it is often suggested that one should create a profile in order to be able to present oneself optimally in the professional world and to eventually find a top employer.
Conscious use as a solution
Boycotting does not change LinkedIn. Because these developments are not LinkedIn’s fault. It is us, the people, who make LinkedIn what it is today. And if we want to change the LinkedIn world, we have to actively engage in it and stand up for more honest authenticity in the network. Just like Ghandi says…
«Be yourself the change you wish to see in this world.»
Perhaps with the creation of a new hashtag like #realinkedIn? Other platforms also struggle with the problem that certain dynamics or topics take on a life of their own or hate debates sometimes arise. The internet is not a lawless space. But since the path of censorship cannot be the right one, it is all the more important not to leave the field to the loud voices and populists among us. After all, we all want the same thing: for people to take us as we really are, without having to pretend. Now it is in the hands of reasonable people to implement this in the digital space as well. We can be curious to see what the further developments will be. Because a platform with nothing but superhumans is no use to employers either…
What are your experiences with LinkedIn?