Sunday, October 25, 2020

How LinkedIn became a facebook/Instagram hybrid

Artwork by Tarek Chemaly from the series "Tanaklogia"

LinkedIn used to be certainly interesting. Seriously, it was worlds away from the constant bombardments of Facebook and its silly updates from "friends" and holiday greetings from "our family to yours", and far from the braggadocio of Instagram where everyone is #nofilter handsome/beautiful, dressed in their logomania attires, and living their best lives.

Just last week on LinkedIn, I saw about 15 people putting certificates of courses they just finished. I congratulate them wholeheartedly, but a closer inspection of the names of the courses and - worse - the governing bodies issuing them, leaves me cold. There were also about four copy/paste versions of the same story about the guy in shoddy surroundings who got interviewed by an HR (but he got the job, yay, because "don't judge the book by its cover"), three other identical stories about companies hiring someone with no experience but who ended up getting promoted twice (twice!), about two other people promoting conspiracy theories (one about the deep state in the US, another about Carlos Ghosn replacing Riad Salameh as governor of central bank in Lebanon). 

Oh and of course, there were half a dozen stories about people who opened a business and failed and opened another one later and succeeded. And a tone of the customary motivational quotes, and several from Brigette Hyacinth. And by the way, all those saying, "if you do not like your place, change it, you are not a tree" (original quote by Jim Rohn) let me remind you as an agriculture engineer, that changing the place of a tree requires moving its primary ecosystem with it to survive (which involves the soil it was planted in - or your previous working experience/rolodex for that matter).

Thankfully, there is a mute button. Or unfollow or whatever they call it.

But yes, it is alarming. All right, we all knew men were using the the platform to privately email women about non-business issues (and at times women posting such messages to fight back), but the amount of info on LinkedIn - serious, business-like, educational - was still abundant.

Lately though, I cannot but worry. If I wanted to see shiny happy people, I'd have gone to Facebook and Instagram.