Is LinkedIn A Toxic Place?

LinkedIn may be the best place for you to boast about your achievements and create professional connections with like-minded business people, however, the LinkedIn culture is often criticized to be a very toxic one.

This is not a new concept when it comes to social media apps. Instagram, for example, is another popular social media app that sounds fun and entertaining on paper but ends up making its users feel insecure and overwhelmed by the filtered content all across the application.

LinkedIn does it a slightly different way. Instead of showing off fake beauty to create the idea of supernormal beauty, LinkedIn users show off fake achievements and success stories to create the idea of an overly optimistic never-ending working hustle that has a diverse effect on its users.

Like myself, there are many professional individuals who prefer to keep a distance from LinkedIn just so they can think clearly and not be drowned in overwhelm constantly comparing their professional achievements with what is shared on LinkedIn.

In short, yes, LinkedIn is a toxic place. And there is no one at fault here but the users themselves.

Let’s dig deep into how LinkedIn portrays a fake and toxic environment on its platform and if it is ultimately a good choice to stay on the app.

Table of Contents

The Fake And Toxic Environment Of LinkedIn

In summary, LinkedIn is often criticized by users for having LinkedIn members that create a supernormal image of professional success, sharing exaggerated stories full of fluffy achievements that are nowhere close to their reality.

Reportedly, the most diverse effect of this takes place in the minds of students. Since LinkedIn is a popular place for fresh graduates to expose themselves to the professional world in hopes of getting a good job, seeing hundreds of posts coming from individuals as young as 16-year-olds claiming to have tons of certifications and skills and already have an executive or founding role in a renowned company will only bore demotivation in the minds of youth.

And LinkedIn is definitely saturated with these posts. 

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In order to create a strong and attractive LinkedIn profile, many users rely on the strategy of posting false stories about their academic or professional careers which only makes the platform more and more toxic.

Thank God It’s Monday

LinkedIn users are found to have this fake persona of being overly optimistic and excited about working, such that it seems like they just can’t ever seem to ever get their hustle over.

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And yes, this can sound good on paper. The idea of taking no breaks to create your own professional brand and keep working on it till you’re a rich bloke.

However, the practicality of this concept is extremely flawed.

All LinkedIn users need to create this image is post a status every once in a while. So even if, like most of us, they’re slacking and procrastinating at work, a Thank God It’s Monday I Can’t Wait To Start The Hustle Back post on LinkedIn will only polish their profile. So they do it.

The negative effect of this on the community, however, is that there’s this fake impression created on the platform, especially for fresh graduates, that insinuates the idea that the only way to make it big in this world is to never take a break. And that everyone on LinkedIn is already doing it.

In reality, this false image is as fake as it gets. I have seen colleagues who would kill to have a half-day but will post these kinds of posts on LinkedIn.

Over-Exaggeration At Its Peak

LinkedIn isn’t always all fake. In fact, most of the achievements boasted by its users are true- but not to their full extent.

A common workaround for LinkedIn users to make their achievements sound the most extraordinary is to exaggerate them however they can.

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I found an example of this on my LinkedIn where I found a content writing professional who wanted to connect with me.

At first glance, her profile seemed experienced and skilled and she was boasting about having 1000+ blog clients. This impressed me enough to actually message her in hopes of creating a writing relationship with her. However, when I started messaging her, I found her vocabulary and grammar to be so sub-par that it was obvious that she had exaggerated all of her achievements to the point that there wasn’t even any truth left to it.

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Over-exaggeration creates a toxic environment on LinkedIn where new users find themselves to be overwhelmed seeing all the fancy achievements their fellow colleagues and friends have been accomplishing. This makes them insecure of themselves and makes it even harder for them to be happy with their own little achievements.

Even though, in reality, the certification that they consider to be a relatively small achievement is very likely to be much more valuable than the over-exaggerated promotion their colleague boasts about.

False Connections

Another thing that doesn’t really sit right with me when it comes to LinkedIn interactions is how fake and meaningless the engagements are. I’ll be honest, I have almost never come across any LinkedIn post where the comment section had healthy feedback or discussion. In almost every post that I see, there are always random people praising the poster with fake compliments and the original poster replying with a thank you.

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Turns out, that’s how engagements work on LinkedIn because there is no profitable outcome of leaving a well-thought comment. The only way you can benefit yourself from another person’s post is by commenting spam and hoping to receive a connection from them.

Because, at the end of the day, the more connections that you have, the stronger your LinkedIn profile seems to be.

I stumbled upon an example of this that was so hilarious I remember it to this day. There was a LinkedIn post explaining what copywriting is which was absolutely atrocious because the definition was completely inaccurate to what copywriting actually is. However, when I checked out the comments section, only 1 of the 20 people that commented on the post actually pointed this out. The rest of the 19 “LinkedIn professionals” just left comments that read along the lines of “Wow, this is so inspiring. I am in awe!”.

The funnier part is, the original poster actually acknowledged her mistake as a reply to the comment that pointed it out. However, she still didn’t feel the need to delete her post. Why? Because the post was never about the accuracy or spreading information or inspiring people. It was just a meaningless gateway to attract more connections…

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Non-Productivity And Toxic Perfectionism

While the idea of LinkedIn was to be a platform where working professionals can work together with each other and motivate and help one another, the toxicity that resides in the place now has an opposite effect on its users.

With the fake impression pretentious LinkedIn users portray on the platform, the rest of the community ends up actually feeling more demotivated, overwhelmed by the success of their fellow colleagues and not being able to believe in themselves to ever surpass those expectations.

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And this leaves people working unhealthily for hours and hours without a break trying to be perfect even when practically this formula has never really worked.

A 20-year-old never really feels satisfied to have a good job anymore since 18 years olds are found to be managing MNCs on the platform. This leaves the rest of the teenagers to divert their attention towards perfectionism, compromising their relationships and social life in an attempt to create a good living, just because LinkedIn tells us that’s the only way to be.

While the truth cannot be further away.

Conclusion – Should You Use LinkedIn Then?

In summary, yes, LinkedIn can be a very toxic place. However, the solution isn’t really to just stop using the platform. The best way to deal with this toxicity is to change your perspective instead.

Live and let live.

Ignore the spam content and LinkedIn and don’t let it alter your perspective of success and growth. Don’t let it overwhelm you. Remember that you’re your own person who has a unique path for their life that cannot be resonated against anyone else.

So if you’re just an entry-level photographer starting out, don’t let it overwhelm you that people half your age apparently already have their own agencies built on the platform.

Focus on your own achievements. Use the platform to create your own profile, boasting your own achievements, and create connections with people that truly inspire you. 

By being true to yourself, you’ll be the closest to achieving happiness and success.

Interested in more? Check out How To Remove A Resume From LinkedIn.

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