Why I hate LinkedIn

LinkedIn, the app where you can ‘manage your professional identity’, ’build and engage with your professional network’ and ‘access knowledge, insights and opportunities’, has one billion users. It ranks in the top used apps with competition like Instagram, which has two billion users, and Facebook, with 3.5 billion. 

So if it is so popular, why do I despise LinkedIn so much? The little blue icon feels like it represents a future of blue Mondays, and I would rather avoid the whole charade altogether. 

All my university friends are on LinkedIn and everyone I know from high school as well. It feels like everyone is on the bullet train and I would prefer to walk. But I am at the point in my studies where I am starting to look into my professional prospects and LinkedIn is merely a possible stepping stone. 

However, I find it hard to see the opportunities because I am always bombarded with social comparison. There are two types of this, upward and downward. Upward social comparison is when we judge ourselves against people we perceive as better, while downward social comparison is against people we look down on, often for an ego boost. 

In the LinkedIn battlefield, both cases are present and persistent. So it feels like you are never doing enough because someone else has done more and suddenly you find yourself feeling guilty for sleeping when you should have been ‘hustling’. 

Suddenly you find yourself feeling guilty for sleeping when you should have been ‘hustling’

A May 2023 study showed that it is exactly environments like social media that cultivate ‘hustle culture’. The hustle culture vulture has us in its talons and the grip is only tightening.

Hustle culture preaches the idea that burning the midnight oil or always being the early bird means that we will succeed even if we don’t enjoy what we are doing. The explosive increase in remote working since Covid-19 has blurred the boundaries around our working hours and with increasing global connectivity, it feeds the hustle culture vulture even more. This attitude places pressure on our relationships, our mental and physical health. I believe this has only led to a burnt out, overconnected world.

Let’s face it, behind the polished personas that people parade on social media platforms are imperfect people feeling the same pressures to keep up. Maybe I don’t hate LinkedIn as much as I hate the pressure of it. I hate feeling like I have to sell myself to get ahead. 

I vote for snail racing rather than hustling to always be first. I won’t delete LinkedIn, but I just don’t want to be rushed. We might be surprised to see how much real value we end up gaining by going at a slower pace. 

CARLA ERASMUS

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