Unfortunate Politicization of LinkedIn – Issue 70

I keep poking away at this issue. I published a newsletter on February 25, 2021 about Fact, Fiction, and Opinion. Then on June 12, I wrote about Prejudice, Discrimination, and Hate.

Was the unfortunate politicization of LinkedIn inevitable? 

Over the past two years, I have  watched the unfortunate politicization of LinkedIn. Probably! Any forum that allows open comment becomes vulnerable to the propagation of false narratives, twisted statistics, and bombastic positioning. 

The last two years have tried everyone’s patience. As a result, the business community has been brutalized. Individual freedom of movement has been restricted. Government authorities have struggled to deliver consistent messages. Around the world, various jurisdictions have taken different approaches to managing the pandemic. And, the grass is always greener somewhere else! 

The corrosiveness of social media

The ugliness of corrosive behaviour on social media

I do not adhere to the Facebook or its Metaverse; I do have an inactive Twitter account. There are other popular social media platforms that I have missed naming but I wouldn’t know where to start. After all, I am getting old! It would appear that the noise and extremism on all of those platforms is deafening. 

I have used LinkedIn for the past ten years. In theory, adherents are business people typically careful and thoughtful in their commentary. I would think that most joined for the same reasons that I did, to:

  • Remain visible and relevant
  • Promote business
  • Be attractive to potential employers and business partners.

These days I am struggling with the way some conversations are going. Some subscriber posts and comments brutalize the poster’s own image. They are no longer attractive employees or business associates.

Now, the venom, lack of perspective, and just pure bull in some of the posts and comments leave me drained. I find myself blocking many contributors. What happened to careful, analytical thoughtfulness?  Why do an increasing number seem to think that it is ok to be angry all the time? Or just fine to quote incomplete information and statistics, without context or analysis?

How Does This Happen?

Are you angry all the time?
  • Too many people have had a filterectomy – the removal of the filter between the brain and the mouth. Or in the case of social media, between the brain and the keyboard. 
  • Anger and frustration take over. Have you ever written an e-mail that you wished you could recall the second you pushed send? Hey, it is ok to write that angry e-mail. It helps with stress management. Just don’t send it right away! Instead, write it in Word or Pages so that it isn’t sent inadvertently. Then wait overnight, and re-consider.  I have written many of these e-mails that I usually end up deleting. If they are ever sent, they will have been edited a hundred times and re-researched.
  • The New Car Syndrome – buy a new car and all of a sudden you see it everywhere? Everyone wants to re-enforce purchase decisions. The same syndrome applies to opinions and positions. We tend to disregard the negating narratives and statistics but hang on to those narratives and statistics that support a specific point of view.

What do I do!

To counter the above I:

  • Recognize that I may have had  a partial filterectomy so I try not to be hasty when I post or comment
  • Follow my own advice on angry e-mails
  • Read! A lot! Seek out different perspectives! Sometimes I read holding my nose but I read on!
  • Accept that not everybody agrees with me! I am not right all the time! 
  • Ask myself if I would repeat what I write in a face-to-face discussion
  • Block politicians on LinkedIn

Sticking with it! 

The unfortunate politicization of LinkedIn has almost driven me to disconnect. Despite politicization, much of the content remains fair and relevant. I will stick around for now. 

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