Is LinkedIn turning in to Facebook?
Well, from personal experience, I’d be inclined to say yes, LinkedIn is turning in to Facebook. And here is why I think so…
When I log on to Facebook, I scroll through my News Feed for about 10 minutes. I see videos of fluffy animals, new recipes, motivational quotes cropped on to beautiful scenic photos, the ever-frequent ‘before-after’ gym selfie, and a few links to current affairs. I’m fortunate (or maybe unfortunate) enough to have a wide range of connections: from left-wing radical students I studied with, to those who travelled to places I never knew existed (my Geography is pretty top-notch as well), all the way through to people I feel I should’ve blocked a long time ago – but I sometimes bump in to them at the local supermarket and I’d rather avoid all Facebook-friend-confrontation at the deli counter.
I will admit that I’ve never been comfortable using LinkedIn, mainly as I didn’t feel I was very ‘good’ at working my way around the Interface, and what all of the different profile settings entailed. I joined when I finished my degree because apparently it was the place to be noticed and get recruited. Instead, I found I was just connecting with all of my fellow un-employed graduates.
Nevertheless, as I moved jobs, I found there were different elements to the platform, and I quite enjoyed being able to stealthily track down the CEO of a large business, and of course, reading blogs about up and coming innovations and developments.
Since I began my role within magic5, I have been urged to connect more with potential clients – even if I’ve never met them – and post about things that they might want to see.
And I feel that is where we come to our comparison.
I am in a position where I need to post things that other people want to see. Not stuff that necessarily resounds with my line of work, but stuff that other people will find interesting…
”But of course you need to do that, why else would they pay you any attention unless it’s going to benefit them?” I hear you say.
Yes, I agree. I do need to do that, I do and will do that. BUT (and this is a big one) there is a fine line between posting articles or commenting on relevant updates saying something that will attract someone else’s attention, and posting the same viral photos and/or links we see every day on Facebook that are there purely for ‘Likes’ or ‘Shares’ that may make the people we are connected with see us in a certain way.
Yes, it’s sweet to see that old man fix that young man’s tie on the train. Yes, it is horrific to hear about that fight, and yes, it definitely is brilliant to hear about that individual’s success in that talent show. Good for them.
But LinkedIn is not here so we can flash our innermost beliefs and dazzling personalities, LinkedIn is here so we can connect with people, expand our networks, and do business with one another. Of course it helps to like each other, and of course you want to make sure your potential new business partner isn’t a Nazi, but do you need to find out on LinkedIn?
Unfortunately, there are lots of viral threads making their way around LinkedIn, and even more unfortunately, it’s making me switch off. I used to see my downtime as mind-numbingly staring at a Facebook News Feed until something made me laugh or cry. Now, I refrain from ‘surfing’ LinkedIn because I find myself switching off in the same way I do when I log on to Facebook.