All social media have their advantages and disadvantages. Facebook and Instagram are great ways to keep up with people in your life… but they also decimate your online privacy. Twitter offers an efficient feed for following the latest news and trends… but has a habit of encouraging right-wing, extremist garbage. YouTube hosts the world’s most extensive video library… but has algorithmically enabled online child predators through its comment system.
I could go on and on, however I wish to discuss a less controversial network in more detail: LinkedIn. Like the aforementioned others, it has its advantages. The network provides powerful tools for job-seekers to apply for roles that suit their skills. It also enables recruiters to reach larger numbers of candidates in a more personal way. I use the network each day in my role and it is genuinely useful for sharing stories and promoting jobs.
With these advantages, however, comes a gigantic heap of daily annoyance. I’m not just talking about advertisements; I’m talking about a seemingly infinite stream of empty, meaningless content from puffed-up, narcissistic business types who all dream of being the next Steve Jobs. I have a newsflash for these people: Steve Jobs did not become Steve Jobs by desperately tracking clicks on LinkedIn… he did it by actually working.
For some time, this content has come in the form of ‘broetry’. ‘Broems’ are LinkedIn posts that usually contain some sort of inspiring story about growth, recruitment or career success by some enlightened corporate professional, however they’re typed line by line with large gaps, forcing you to expand and commit to the post. You can learn more about them here.
Nowadays, I see many more posts in the form of cheesy leadership and quotation memes, which act as cover images for clickbait articles. Some quotes are attributed and others just look like a rush job for the sake of having an attention-grabbing image the feed. Of course, many of them are accompanied by excessive hashtags to hit keywords and attract attention. In the case of really long hashtags without title case, this leads to accessibility issues.
In my spare time, I have collected a range of screenshots of such content in my LinkedIn feed. I actively dislike or report all of them and yet they still appear. Here are some examples, with the profile names of each LinkedIn user omitted.
Funnily enough, this image and its linked article had very little to say.
There’s nothing like boosting someone’s self-esteem with financial terms.
Of course, Steve Jobs had to make an appearance. It’s kind of this user to have highlighted the important bit, however, I’m sure that Steve would have been most displeased with the use of the Windows typeface Calibri.
Richard Branson’s a very popular subject and this is the meme that I see the most frequently.
Here’s another one… nothing like a truism!
Sometimes he looks like Jesus but essentially tells you to lie to others for your own gain.
I’m not sure what Jon Stewart has to do with business networking but #hashtag and #morehashtags.
Inevitably, we start to see memes about what the difference between a manager and a leader is. #inspiring
Now this is a beautiful message but let’s be honest that titles, positions and flowcharts are all that really interest these people.
Apparently, bosses are completely incapable of forming the lip movements to utter plural first-person pronouns.
This is just common sense; otherwise your restrooms will never be cleaned.
It doesn’t matter how kind you are—apparently the cost of raising a child in Australia (until the age of 17) is $297,600, so this user should check their figures.
What about the ones that say ‘pull’?
Sandra survived The Net and Speed, so she knows what she’s talking about.
I implore anyone who posts such images to stop. LinkedIn can be a genuinely interesting place and powerful tool when it’s used properly. This just turns it into an office-obsessed Facebook.
For those who don’t do this, you can help too. Don’t click on them, don’t like them and certainly don’t comment on them. That’s what they want you to do.