As social networks they are very useful, but they can cause damage to mental health, especially in anxious people, like me. The problem is not with the platforms themselves, but with the toxic users who use them to squander their superiority. At the LinkedInin particular, this issue gets worse, because all the posts revolve around professional achievements, courses, money and material goods.
LinkedIn is great, but users can be toxic
With over 810 million registered users, LinkedIn is the largest social network to connect with professionals and companies. Despite having a very noble purpose, the site ends up creating an extremely competitive environment where people need to prove their abilities and accomplishments in the job market at all times.
When you’re early in your career, right out of high school or college, LinkedIn can be key to meeting people and organizations. It is necessary, however, to prepare psychologically to read countless “motivational” posts with people saying that you will only be successful if you work harder than your own body can handlefor example.
In my case, I’ve always seen LinkedIn as a space to share my work with other journalists. However, during the first years of my career, I had a lot of anxiety attacks when using the platform. After spending a few hours browsing the timeline, it was common to feel like the worst professional in the world, as it seemed like everyone was thriving, while I was left behind.
This feeling was mostly caused by toxic posts that tend to follow the same style. The messages start with a motivational tone, but soon turn into real traps for anxious people.. You know that typical phrase “work while they sleep”? So I’ve brought this into my therapy a few dozen times.
In this text, I bring three types of classic publications who appear frequently on LinkedIn, but that might not exist. Without these posts, the platform would be a better and healthier place to look for jobs, especially during the early career years when we don’t have a lot of professional experiences to share.
Reject rest and work non-stop
Working too much without resting can lead anyone to burnout. in a very short time. However, it seems that there is a portion of LinkedIn users who do not believe this. Sometimes, posts appear announcing job vacancies that exceed 40 hours a week, for example, with texts that get to be sick, as in this case:
It makes no sense to offer “freedom” while depriving the employee to enjoy the weekends or just sleep at night like any normal human being. A person who is just starting out in the job market or needs an urgent job can easily fall into such a trap and develop serious mental problems.
This other comment below follows the same style of demanding that the person does not rest for a few days a week. It is important to keep in mind that a professional satisfied with his salary and with his mental health up to date is much more productive than someone who never stops.
As I said at the beginning of this text, LinkedIn has a very useful purpose, but it’s a shame that most users only think about showing off. Furthermore, many of these “recruiters” make up stories to gain free engagement on the platform. Don’t believe everything you read on the internet.
Recruiters exposing candidates for nothing
Worse than not receiving a response from a company after applying for a job is be ignored and exposed on LinkedIn next. It is quite common to see recruiters humiliating candidates who were unable to attend interviews due to personal problems, or judging professionals just by the photo they use on other social networks, as in the case of this post:
It’s horrible to think that you might get rejected for not allowing unknown users to see your photo on WhatsApp, or for posting a photo at a party with friends. The good news is, In most cases, companies led by like-minded people aren’t usually worth it..
It is also worth mentioning that, as in the previous case, many managers create these fictitious stories. Even though most of the comments are critical of the content, engagement is still high. LinkedIn, meanwhile, tends to display posts like these more often, because of the platform’s algorithm.
Beautiful companies, but only in the photo
One of the main triggers of anxiety is comparison.. It’s common to feel distressed when opening LinkedIn and coming across an individual starting to work at a company that looks wonderful from the photos. Although, many places sell a fictitious image of the routine of employees.
You will only know the reality of a company if you work for it. Also, it’s possible that that friend of yours who got into the cool spot you wanted so badly could be unhappy for a variety of reasons. Remember if: each person has a different rhythm in life. If you are satisfied with your current job, you have no reason to compare yourself to anyone else.
Sometimes the company you wanted to be a part of can actually be quite toxic. a few years ago, I had a dream of working at Activision Blizzard one day, for liking the games produced by her very much. After learning about the harassment and discrimination scandals that happen there, I saw that it made no sense to be anxious about not having fulfilled this desire.
Live one day at a time, even at work
Despite these problems, LinkedIn is still an excellent platform to connect with professionals in your field. If social media is negatively affecting your mental health, use it less often. You can also uninstall the mobile application and access your profile only once a day, so you don’t miss any possible chat messages.
Just like on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter or other social networks, not all LinkedIn posts are what they seem. The platform serves as a stage for CEOs, recruiters and professionals with huge egos to show off. That’s why, it’s worth looking at the site more as a job search engine than a place to share stories.
Finally, seek professional help from a psychologist or psychiatrist if anxiety is holding you back in your career. Keeping mental health up to date is as important as publishing articles on LinkedIn and taking courses at renowned universities.