LinkedIn sucks, and every social media should strive to suck just as much. Here's what I mean.
If I were in a room with a batch of strangers plucked from LinkedIn I’d quickly want to crawl into a fireplace and light a match. If I were in that same room, but now with all of my close friends acting like their LinkedIn personas, I wouldn’t make it through one sentence without bursting into hysterics.
Seeing these two groups of people interact - corporate social media strangers and my friends trying to be HR angels - makes LinkedIn different from every other social media. It’s what makes it enjoyable in a completely different way.
It’s also why many people say it is the worst social media. Because it means scroll after scroll we are met with people bragging in corporate jargon - the worst jargon.
“I’m honoured to announce I’ve been granted a promotion that will have me overlooking a vital part of a valuable business,” says the person I saw a mere two nights ago flipping someone off after hitting a beer pong shot before introducing their insides to the toilet. The same person who, with a pounding head, a tenuous stomach, and a hefty UberEats receipt the next morning, informs me they “genuinely cannot be f*cked working tomorrow.”
“We look forward to having you on board - first round of coffees on you!” replies Thomas BigDog, who finds himself taking the long route to the office toilet, just to avoid his coworkers.
But I can blame neither my friend nor Mr BigDog. They are simply following the rules of LinkedIn.
When entering a social media space, the user expects to see certain content - the medium is the message. The 'rules' are related to the expectation.
On Instagram, you see snapshots of the best moments from people’s lives with a side of social activism in the stories. Twitter users are trying to be informative or funny, with every reply starting an argument.
Facebook has the most batsh*t theories you’ve seen or a so-cringe-it’s-almost-funny memory from intermediate school. Content on TikTok is intensely varied from person to person - thanks to their algorithm that is so addicting it’s been compared to a crack addiction.
LinkedIn is people trying to get hired and businesses trying to hire them.
But Twitter has also shown me things that are far more horrifying than they are informative or enjoyable, sad and dumb stuff is rampant on Instagram and Facebook is full of 'wow' reacts to unserious posts. Basically, people don't care if they surprise their audience on these sites.
But no one dares to break the LinkedIn commandments. Not even if their dad dies, they've finally cum face-to-face with their porn addiction (pun intended), or no longer have a job.
Even if you're not feeling at your corporate best, the app will literally prompt you with automated responses to stay on the right track - 'don’t be an idiot dumby, say this safe thing’ (best part of the app by the way: nothing better than telling a mate you see every weekend to 'catch up!' to discuss their 'Inspiring!' new job).
Just once I’d like to log into LinkedIn and see someone showing off a fit pic for the hell of it or Nana talking about how the vaccine made her dog talk Japanese.
But I won’t, which means I’ll keep my LinkedIn screen time to five minutes a week. An insanely low and undoubtedly good number for a social media app.
All of LinkedIn's competitors have been problematic. Instagram for promoting unrealistic beauty standards. TikTok is stocking up on our data so much that the US government is set to ban it. Twitter and Facebook are both so rampant with 'Fake News' that many officials believe the misinformation on the sites sways people's political affiliations.
Look, all I'm saying is if we saw a little less of our #ForYouPage and a little more 'Happy for you!' responses, the world would be a better place. It’ll never happen (money talks baby) but a kid can dream, right?