I’m running out of patience with LinkedIn. My newsfeed, once a destination for interesting stuff and professional connections, has turned into a dumping ground for clickbait articles, recycled motivational quotes, and self-congratulatory “I’m thrilled to announce” self-promotions.
The professional networking site that was once a must-have for career growth and professional visibility has become a cluttered digital space that makes me question its value and usability.
No, I don’t want to “jump on a call.”
No, I don’t want to “chat about my 2024 goals.”
No, I “didn’t miss your previous three messages.”
Here’s why I’m thinking about jumping ship:
Endless Spammy Content: It’s just too much to wade through. A major time drain. The sheer volume of supposed “content” bombarding my inbox in order to get to something that’s actually useful is exhausting.
Invasive Messaging: The constant bombardment of generic, automated messages from strangers pitching their services or products has made the messaging feature more of a nuisance than a tool for genuine networking.
Connection Requests Galore: It’s become a race to amass connections, turning the platform into a numbers game rather than a space for meaningful professional conversation. Random connection requests from people I’ve never interacted with flood my inbox daily.
Algorithm Woes: The platform’s algorithm seems to be working against users. Despite efforts to personalize content, it often ends up showing irrelevant posts while burying updates from actual connections.
Over-the-Top Self-Promotion: While self-promotion has its place, LinkedIn now feels like a never-ending self-congratulatory parade. The line between sharing achievements and blatant, poorly written, cookie-cutter self-aggrandizement has blurred significantly.
Questionable Networking Events: The influx of online events that, at first glance, might possibly be beneficial turn out to be thinly veiled sales pitches rather than genuine networking opportunities with interesting people or stuff you could actually learn from.
Privacy: I’m not the only one who’s getting nervous about my data privacy on LinkedIn, especially with the platform’s increased emphasis on tracking and profiling users for ad targeting.
Are there any redeeming qualities?
It’s still a place ya gotta be. I continue to encourage my clients to take a proactive approach to LinkedIn – to make sure that they have a solid, up-to-date profile, an updated career history, a listing of awards, accolades, etc. But I tell them to lower their expectations. It’s quickly becoming nothing more than a glorified resume, a place to glance at bona fides, a giant Rolodex in the cloud.
I hope there’s a way to reclaim the essence of LinkedIn, to return it to its early roots by helping its users engage with smaller, niche, targeted communities, by taking an active role in policing the spammers and infiltrators, and by standing up in defense of its members who are being bombed by people vying for our attention.
I still regularly post my articles and comment when I find something worth commenting on. And I continue to scroll through my feed. Sometimes, I read my InMails. I hold out hope, checking in half-heartedly once a day on the off-chance I might miss something that’s actually important. It’s still the best place to learn more about people and their work. I keep thinking that if enough people find the annoyances outweigh the benefits, we may see a return to the LinkedIn of yesteryear.
What’s your LinkedIn experience? Drop me a note. I’d love to know.