You know LinkedIn. Although it has a strong value proposition, I am off of the site for several reasons.

  • It promotes "hustle" culture. The video I linked is more comedic and doesn't have to do with LinkedIn specifically, but I think it fluffs the point that I am trying to make. "Hustle" culture, as I see it, is portrayed productivity which, in reality, is more so passionless hyper-activity through trendy lifestyle adoptions and self-promotion. Workaholism. The site actively promotes those who aggressively build their personal brand through their network via the use of likes, shares, and sponsored content. My feed was cluttered by Tai Lopez's (I won't link to his content explicitly, but look him up if you don't know him), meditative one liners, and faux-"inspiration". You can change your settings, but how many users actively do that? (See the point about the attention economy below).
  • It roboticizes human interaction via persistent spam notifications. This is oddly reminiscent of Facebook's birthday notification, in the sense... do you really care about that relationship? Actually, LinkedIn has birthday notifications too.
  • It avoids data transparency through poorly made high-level reports (follow the links to the UK reports at the bottom), lawsuits against scraping, and broadly inaccessible data for 3rd party research.
  • I believe that it reinforces minority hiring practices, specifically that, as a jobs platform, it seeks to pair top candidates with top recruiters with top companies, which inherently excludes under-represented groups. I want to point out that user-created groups exist and are excellent resources for providing minority opportunities, but there is a lack of LinkedIn, feature-level work to facilitate these connections. Let me be clear though, this might be completely facticious, as I could not verify it in either way because of the data inaccessibility issue. The closest related thing I could find was this blog post, which covers the gender gap. I find it interesting that the platform which has the explicit ability to change such a gap is proposing such generalized solutions to the problem.
  • It favors presentation over actual work experience. Of course, this has always existed. LinkedIn is just another new medium. Similar to the advent of television and its effects on political campaigning. Presentation now involves things like connections, "endorsements", skills tests, etc... Are these good indicators of actual performance?
  • It is a social media, so all the issues 1 2 3. that come with that are also present here. [2] has an interesting title with better results.
  • Active participant in attention economics. Check out this podcast. To summarize, apps aim to have maximum engagement through optimized UX and stimulating visual features. Personally undesirable features can be toggled off, but as the podcast touches on, the default setting is to keep them on, if they increase engagement. In the case of LinkedIn, anyone can curate their feed to avoid toxic promoted content, but what percentage of people do that?

All that said, LinkedIn is becoming synonymous with resumé and is a massive platform. If you are their target customer and need to find a job, LinkedIn is a good (great) tool, as they boast themselves, and being able to quickly create a professional online identity is extremely valuable. Having to go through the work of creating a personal site, managing connections and keeping up with a federated community of ex-coworkers takes time and knowledge of other tools to do so. It's just that. LinkedIn has so many use cases and an ever-increasing number of them and because of this, I find it is difficult to just use it solely as a jobs platform, without "buying" into another that I find harmful.