LinkedIn — a place full of “inspiring” adults tooting their horns 📯

FYI, unicorns aren’t real.

Either LinkedIn is fake or you’re.

Regardless if you’ve had enough, like me, enjoy!

This is my first “story” as Medium puts it. And I’m not even going to sugar coat. Let’s go

👇

The worst is anyone can post anything about themselves. Some of the stupidest people I’ve worked with are Gods on earth.

As a privacy-focused person, I don’t see it fit for certain people to see where I’m currently working or to view my career history.

Privacy options are a joke - either it’s public or all LI members.

I understand, we can’t control what people say about themselves on the platform.

Seeing it’s a social network for professionals, it’s ought to have more integrity and accountability to the truth.

Unfortunately, due to a lack of truthful transparency nobody wants to say anything truly critical to peers even if it makes sense (it’s a bubble).

What can the platform do to provide integrity and accountability to the truth?

Now, it’s not an easy problem to solve. However, I wish there was a disagree button.

I see some people claiming to have done so and so at companies I’ve worked when they had nothing to do with it.

One way to make this fairer is by allowing only those people who’ve worked at the same place during that time.

They can downvote or disagree. It can lead to abuse but the current system is open to abuse as well.

Right now I can say that I contributed to a project when I may have not served a single minute on it.

Because there’s zero arbitration, you can’t take anything seriously.

With disagreements and downvotes (in a job interview), it can become a bone of contention. For example:

“You stated on LinkedIn that you’re the key person to deliver [project X]. However, 12 people seem to disagree with you. Care to explain?”

Won’t anonymity contribute to honesty or vice versa?

It’s a start but difficult to say. I don’t feel it can be a factor or would affect honesty.

It will certainly impact the volume.

The balance can be struck if those anonymous numbers are placed by in fact those who were there at the time when claims are made about a certain project.

About the platform itself…

It’s ugly and the worst are the spammy email notifications recommending to follow users. By what measure am I being suggested?

The job alerts are far from relevant (if any). Best unsubscribe from all email communication.

And don’t get me started on the feed. Ugh! A bunch of grown-ups tooting their horn and people inane, finding the imagined stories to be “inspiring”.

The copy-pasta of posts is something really annoying and thus, can’t be trusted.

So much for original content in the feed. Organic reach or boost is a mockery. Honestly, everyone’s part of some POD.

For those who don’t know about LI PODs.

How I do know this? I was once part of a LinkedIn Hackers Facebook Group which I thought was about helping people on LinkedIn to best leverage it.

Turns out it was a group where PODs were promoted and people begging for engagement on their posts by sharing links to them. It was a sad sight.

Oh, and PODs are anything but free (to my knowledge).

The principle of reciprocity

I got serious about posting content on LinkedIn in lockdown last year. Text-based, mind you.

The algorithm prefers it. LinkedIn was the buzzword and organic reach was synonymous with LinkedIn.

I read and saw posts by influencers that engagement is the first step.

I inboxed them asking for advice. And they all said tag people, take note of the time of the day you post, put up an interesting headline…..

God knows how many times I’ve engaged on the platform with thoughtful comments. And not a mere “nice one” or “good point”.

I’m talking about comments that can be easily fashioned into a post.

Next, it was about tagging people to garner traction. It’s no cheat but a method to get views and people to engage with you.

Since I was starting, I tagged quite a lot of people (if I’m being honest). Not everyone engaged, but some did.

I felt on top of the world. I received notifications from LinkedIn saying your post on [topic] is trending which I later found, LinkedIn’s algorithm sent to everyone (for a given hashtag).

SUCH A TRICKSTER.

My views and engagement skyrocketed! With time, however, I thought, I can’t keep tagging people like this.

I’m sure they aren’t pleased with being tagged without consent and in posts that don’t interest them.

I once tagged a few people in my How to Go Live on TikTok post. The comments were, “I haven’t tried it so I don’t know”. I learned my lesson. That I gotta stop.

So why don’t they engage or support my content out of their own accord?

That’s the principle of reciprocity, I’m talking about. Very rarely someone engaged. And on occasions, I called out the so-called influencers by directly commenting, “pls, next time when I post be sure to engage” or follow my hashtag.

See the example below.

A LinkedIn post preaching about why you don’t get the traction you deserve.
That’s where I come in telling them to bugger off (w/euphemism).

And is followed by a positive toxicity response. A comment meant to pacify you.

They know, we see through their facade.

Now you must be thinking, “his content mustn’t be any good, or else why wouldn’t anyone want to engage?”

LinkedIn 101 dictates…

Content must be informative and educational.

I must have talked about my personal accomplishments; successes and failures, quotes and philosophies I’ve believed in, trending topics, etc.

And here we are; a year later (at the time of writing this). The desired organic reach never came.

I tried adding people who were from my industry and other similar professional walks to expand my network.

They’d view your profile but won’t accept (ok, freedom of choice).

Still, enough reason to piss someone off.

Why?

Like I’m seeing [Mr. T] viewed my profile and under his name, I see “Request sent”. Why don’t you accept?

We’re all professionals here and looking to build connections.

And before you tell me, my profile must look incomplete or without a profile photo and no headline or work history.

It’s legit.

Speaking of viewing profiles, people can see if I’ve opened their profile (even accidentally) which sucks.

Point is, you can’t stalk people to get interesting facts on some new technology/startup stuff without alerting them.

If you decide this shouldn’t be happening, you won’t know about the stats about who’s viewed yours.

A double-edged sword.

The wave of scam artists

They spam your inbox and try to sell you how to “double revenue” schemes.

Once a guy assumed, I’m some hotshot from a SaaS company (when I’m anything but).

He persistently messaged me how I ought to try his newly developed sales system. Don’t you read the profile, man?

For a professional network of this magnitude, the Spam feature is stupid.

If you Mark as spam by mistake then that post or content is removed from your feed.

I once contacted their help. They’re like, we’re strict on our spam policy and once reported, it can’t be retrieved for you. I mean “WHAAA..?”

Engagement posts

There must be a separate hell for those who create engagement posts on LinkedIn.

Every one of them follows the generic formula:

  1. Like this post
  2. Send a connection request to anyone who comments
  3. (Optional) add a message saying you found him/her through [Ms. R]’s engagement post
  4. Add lots of connections
  5. You’re only one connection away from changing your life (lol, okay)

I admit I’ve done it (senselessly added connections) too.

Imagine adding multiple people without anything remotely similar between you guys.

Influencers br like, “just fu***ing add, da** you!”.

If it’s adding for the sake of adding, sorry I’m out.

What’s worst?

As we come to a close, you must think and if you’re a LinkedIn user, “can’t be THIS bad?”

Well, you’re right. Still, this article isn’t about that. However, there’s one more.

And I bet you didn’t see this one coming.

*drum roll*

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Seeing someone post that they got a new job and it’s the one you applied for.

I haven’t abandoned LinkedIn, yet. Might deactivate, at some point.

Though it’s lost its original purpose, getting in touch with people in the same industry is the only redeeming quality.

[End rant]

Content Marketing Professional | B2B Copywriter | Founder, writinggoodcopy.com