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LinkedIn is awful, Part MCMXLIV

A person I generally like and respect shared a thing on LinkedIn recently about how “organizational health” is important to long- term company performance. That sounds great!

Then I noticed that it was a report from McKinsey and could not help but to actually laugh out loud (NOTE: It was not happy laughter. -Ed.). If I were to make a list of the worst influences upon both organizational health and long-term company performance, it would be hard to think of any individual or organization that would be closer to the top than McKinsey.

Then I was left with deciding whether or not to post a reply. I have a pretty firm policy of not engaging with any posts on any of the big social media platforms. I avoid Facebook and Twitter entirely at this point, but still occasionally find myself on LinkedIn for work-related reasons.

I ended up deciding against responding, mostly because LinkedIn is a terrible place and I have no interest in contributing to it.

Still, it bums me out that this person is sharing this kind of junk.

I feel like that is what is particularly gross about LinkedIn. It has the bad incentives and behaviors that are inherent to all of the big social media platforms, and then piles on the additional grossness of career-related striving.

I think that yields the sort of junk one sees on LinkedIn—the constant uncritical boosterism of every current tech and business trend, the lickspittle-ish promotion of employers posts, the weird “my company laid me off but I’m so grateful for the opportunity they gave me” apologia. The platform’s currency for individual posters is their own career prospects. Who cares if McKinsey is awful if their post provides content I can use to promote myself? This is what we end up with in a system where we throw everyone in a heap and leave them on their own to claw their way a bit higher in the pile.

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