Make LinkedIn Great Again

We’ve all seen the self-righteous status updates on LinkedIn about how the platform isn’t Facebook, that we shouldn’t be posting things like math problems, or what we ate for breakfast, and so on. I’ve been guilty of the same type of preaching. It’s almost impossible not to say something when your LinkedIn feed is full of religious memes, infuriating tropes of Republicans and Liberals alike, and weird pictures taken out of context with completely misrepresented captions.

But with all of the noise polluting the once wholesome networking platform of LinkedIn, another curious phenomenon is taking place. We are actively arguing with strangers about things we agree should not be discussed on the platform. Let that sink in for a minute, I’ll wait.

When you acknowledge someone’s click-bait comment and you and I are connected, it then shows up in my newsfeed. It’s a horrible, vicious, stupid cycle because now I have to read you explaining to someone (in what I’ve subconsciously attributed as an insanely prissy voice) how “LinkedIn is not Facebook and that type of thing doesn’t belong here”. Or, even worse, I get some weirdly construed viewpoint on why you disagree with the poster. In the absolutely worst case scenario, I find out that someone I’m connected with actually does agree with said nonsense.

Here’s the thing. First, do you really think that the person whose post you’re commenting on actually cares that LinkedIn is not Facebook and that they’ve committed some breach of etiquette? Of course not! By commenting you get sucked into this inane argument whereby you’ve just given someone what they want; the chance to ruffle your feathers! If it offends you, send that person a direct message or remove them as a connection. Way more satisfying!

Second, I don’t care and I want to continue to not care what you think about it. Whether you agree or disagree is none of my business. The beauty of the working world, and the long ago notion of LinkedIn, is that we all are networking together. Someone’s religious or political views don’t ever, EVER have to factor in to that relationship. In my working relationships, I don’t need to know whether you like the president, want stricter gun control laws or whatever. Why? Because I may feel strongly on those views and I don’t need to get into a useless argument about something that has no possible bearing on the work that I do.

Lastly, and I strongly believe this, maybe by ignoring the trolls and the haters we can make this platform what it should be; a professional networking site. By depriving these people of an audience we can ensure that viewpoints which should be kept private don’t have the chance to circulate. Please keep that in mind when you comment on someone’s senseless post. It’s not doing what you think it is, I promise.

P.S.

Anything you “like” shows up in your connections’ newsfeeds. That goes for math problems and dubious supermodel selfies. It’s worth thinking about your professional perception before hitting the thumbs up button.