The Existence of LinkedIn Shows How Much Our Culture Sucks
And we are all responsible for feeding the monster
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One of the biggest pop-rock groups of the late 80’s/early 90’s was the Swedish group, Roxette. They put out whiny bangers like Listen to Your Heart, and It Must Have Been Love, which has been scientifically shown to be the start of the downfall of American culture.
But, as a credit to their self-awareness, they called their Greatest Hits album, Don’t Bore Us, Just Get To The Chorus, because they know all the other lyrics in a pop song are just dull filler, and no one likes to be bored; we (and by we, I mean every 15-year-old pre-pubescent girl and myself) just want to scream the chorus at the top of our lungs loud enough so that while we’re driving passersby will call 911 to have the cops pull us over to do a wellness check.
Or, as the patron-saint of internet culture, Paris Hilton, once said:
But, alas, I am not a pop star but a mere sinner, and am going to do something that no one who wants to build or maintain an audience should ever do; write about something incredibly boring. As I reflect on it, this could be the most uninteresting column that is posted on the internet world today.
What if I told you there was a social media site that claims 850 million users (over 10% of the world’s population), gets 1.5 billion monthly visits, has over 19,000 employees, and has less buzz about what occurs there than at your average community garden center? Seriously. No one gives a shit what happens on a site that nearly everyone reading this post uses.
Of course, I am talking about LinkedIn.
Think about it; when was the last time someone in a friend chat group linked to something on LinkedIn and said, “you guys have to see this,” unless it was to take a screenshot of an old boss and draw a dick on his face? If your answer is anything over once, you need to kick that friend out of your friend chat immediately.
LinkedIn is the black hole of interesting thoughts, where, much like light from a black hole, no original, innovative ideas can escape from the social media platforms’ event horizon. Only the most anodyne, unimaginative, soul-crushing, corporate-lingo-ese utterances can escape the crush of its overwhelmingly tedious gravity.
It’s so bland that if it had been around in the 14th century, Dante would have added it to the list of mortal sins just to make it the tenth and innermost circle of hell.
You may be asking yourself, “Well, mister smarty pants Substack guy, if LinkedIn sucks so hard, why are so many people using it?” Very simple. LinkedIn is a unique social media site in that nothing posted there is for either the poster or their “connections” (99% of which are someone you met one time at a brown bag lunch-and-learn and had to accept their invite because you didn’t want to look like an a-hole). No, in fact, nearly all posts are made for an audience of one: their bosses.
You know it, your boss knows it, you know your boss knows it, and your boss knows that you know he knows it.
This way, you can go back to their superior at the end of the year and say, “look at how active I am on LinkedIn, like a good little corporate shill. Have I reached my annual goal of useless posts yet?” Or “I know I’m only at 70% of my sales target, but I am at 250% of my LinkedIn post target, so it’s basically a wash, right?”
As bad as it is when peons like me do it (which I don’t…I know, I’m a bad boy), it’s even worse when it’s executives because they aren’t even taking the 20 seconds it takes to post, but rather have their admins or marketing departments posting on their behalfs. How social! How organic!
But when you boil it down, among all the people and all the posts made on LinkedIn each day, much like Dante’s circles of hell, there are only nine kinds of posts that exist, with only one of those categories that can be considered anything other than 100% self-serving: job postings. Other than that, all 1.5 billion monthly posts can be boiled down into one of eight pointless, selfish buckets.
Walk with me as we review the corporate hell so many of us live in today-
The Eight Types of LinkedIn Posts:
“I’m proud to share…“
The self-promoting, bullshit post. This gets posted so the person who got the promotion to Sr. Manager of Toiler Flushers can get a bunch of virtual thumbs up and hand claps, with the occasional “congratulations” comment from the person he met once while chatting at the urinal at O’Hare about how much it sucks to have a connection there over the winter.
The even worse version of the “I’m proud to share” post is when someone else reposts it for another person at their company. As if they give a shit, but hey, they might as well pad those end-of-year posting stats.
Pictures from a corporate meeting or training session
The formula is always the same. One is an action shot of the meeting going on, and a second of everyone smiling and posing for the camera after it’s over, as if they had just met Winston Churchill or Lana Rhodes and they wanted to preserve the moment for posterity.
What’s worse is that usually, the post isn’t even from someone you know but from one of the five people on earth you haven’t connected with because someone in your network “liked” it. If you care that much, can you please save us all the timeline space and send them a DM about how much you enjoyed their post-“how to use the rubber extruder 5000”-training picture? Thank you.
The “I’m not even trying to hide how self-serving I am being” Industry report/Corporate Press release/ product video/bullshit corporate award post
No, I don’t care that the National Association of Chihuahua Breeders published its annual report that includes the hot trend of dog contact lenses. I also don’t care about your corporate press release telling me about the new state-of-the-art warehouse you opened in Peoria. I further don’t care that you remade a user manual into a video and thought that was newsworthy (have you seen our latest Q.R. Codes?). And I couldn’t care less that your company was given an award from an organization to which you pay an annual $50,000 membership fee (and that the award ensures the $50k will keep coming).
There is no one, and I mean no one, who gives a shit about these posts or clicks on them. These get posted because the annoying marketing person harangues everyone about how “earned” media impressions are essential for branding purposes.
Let me tell you, marketing person, you certainly earned this media from Tupac:
An article someone at their company (who they’ve likely never met) was quoted in
“Check out my colleague Karl who was quoted in Crone’s Disease Monthly about how using our special cream can make your ass burn less after your fifteenth shit of the day.”
I’m all set, thanks.
The Happy Holiday Post
Are you trying to further your career on the backs of someone else’s culture? Cultural appropriation much? I can’t believe these posts haven’t been canceled yet. I’ll get to work on that.
Long rambling post reflecting on their recent layoff
This is a new one I added to the list. Listen, I have a heart like anyone else and feel bad for people who lose their jobs, BUT after the recent tech layoffs, the number of long, thought-piece posts “reflecting” on their time at the company that just canned them annoyed the piss out of me.
You worked for a company; they paid you, you did work, and now they don’t want to pay you anymore; say what you really mean, “fuck you, the company sucks, the CEO sexually harasses everyone in the office, the microwave smelled like shit every time Janice warmed up whatever leftover concoction she had from last night’s dinner, Sean walking around in nut huggers after his afternoon bike ride should be classified as a crime against humanity, and I was the guy who went upper deck after hours on the third-floor bathroom in 2019. Peace out bitches.”
Helpful “tip” which is thoroughly banal, common sense
Thanks Kant. Maybe you should look into adding this to the Bhagavad Gita? I’m sure they’ll make an exception for insights like this.
About a triple threat of inane corporate bullshit:
No “I” in “team,” you say? Hold on a minute….
Ok, I’m back; that checks out. You can run with it.
Good thing our kindergarten tee-ball coaches didn’t serve up this platitude when we were six years old and trying not to piss our pants while we hit the ball.
And don’t forget to “redesign your meetings.” You know all those meeting innovations that have come up in the last 100 years? Like the “standing meeting.” Or the “I’m not going to put on my camera so I can play whatever iPhone game I downloaded this week” meeting. Who knows, you could be the next Steve Jobs for meetings.
And finally, the coup de grace of any good, enterprise-grade nonsense, motivational post…sing it with me in the back rows if you know this tune…GRATITUDE.
I’m on LinkedIn for Chrissakes. Are these posts supposed to stop us from killing ourselves, because I’ve got news for you…they’re not working.
“Hey, Shauna…nice ass. I’m sorry; what I meant to say was beautiful ass.” I’m just kidding, everyone. We all know no one named Shauna has a nice ass.
Unknown author…you know why? Because no one would ever utter this platitudinous crap. Not even Bernie Madoff was a big enough B.S. artist to try and slip this happy-go-lucky, warmed-over nonsense past the goalie. If you want to inspire someone, fine, but don’t lie to them.
Guys, want to know how to be ten times more attractive? Be six feet tall, bench press 405 pounds, and make a million bucks per year. Done, but I guess that doesn’t look as good on a meme.
Ladies…on second thought, let’s not do this. I don’t want to get in trouble.
I can’t blame LinkedIn for this, if I’m being fair. LinkedIn is just a self-reflection of our society writ large in 2023. Since we have gone all Brave New World by spending more time watching TikTok videos in a day than reading books in a decade, almost no one has anything interesting to say.
Many of those who do are terrified to say it for fear of losing their corporate job they loathe so that they can pay for their 3,000 square foot house they don’t need and their $60,000 car they’ve been told by society they want.
Anyway, there it is. In the entire universe of seventy trillion LinkedIn posts, these are the only ones that exist. Now, if you’ll excuse me, I’m going to put on some Roxette and confess my sin of tedium to Sister Hilton.
Love it! I too despise LinkedIn and your types of posts are spot on. But let’s not forget the “racial” posts. Stuff about “natural” hair and these “fabulous” DEI crap posts.
Haha. Great article! I, too, have wondered what purpose LinkedIn serves beyond a glorified electronic resume. What really cracks me up is that I haven’t updated it since my layoff in 2020. Oh, I can update it with my new information, but somehow, it gets shoved to the very bottom of the to-do list. But I still get dozens of emails, some while I was still on unemployment, telling me that I’m “being noticed” for my “good work.” Well, I’m happy to say that I found a new job pretty much without it.
And as for the main feed ... it’s all useless swill. There are the rehashes of rehashes of rehashes of job hunting advice/resume writing from the last 50 years, dressed up for social media, the HR blather, and worst of all, the political posts, which have no business being on a so-called “business/professional” site. You want to talk politics, or DEI, or whatever the HR flavor-of-the-month issue is? Take it to another forum.