What have you become?

Imagine this. You are unhappy about the mechanical life in city and are going in search of a place where you can switch off. You found a place that is simple and serene yet useful. The place is inhabited by few who are on the same wavelength as you. Gradually the place is flocked by thousands and millions more. Everybody starts setting their own unwritten rule. They start their own propaganda. There’s always a group following a slightly vocal person. There are people who are saddened by the way the place has become. Yet there are more people who find opportunities among the crowd. There are jesters, activists, geniuses, businessmen, authors, pseudo authors, feminists, anti-feminists, leaders, managers, employed, unemployed and all sorts of people. There is always noise and commotion in that place.

Pictured that? Now lift this imaginary place and embed in the mighty internet and you get LinkedIn. Long time ago, LinkedIn used to be a simple, neat professional networking site. Professionalism was genuinely maintained. Very few people were on it. Then the user base exploded inorginacally and you can find all sorts of people now.

One set of people is genuinely looking for a job and another set genuinely helping. That is all fine. But some of the things that people do show up as being silly. I have listed some things that I have noticed.

People adding posts like “If you are a genius find the answer for this: name two cities that start with letter a and ends with n”

Posts like “7 things that extraordinary people do every day”. Followed by “11 things that extraordinary leaders dp everyday” out of which 7 will be from previous post and 4 will be from “6 things that natural leaders do everyday written by somebody else. These posts are informative in the beginning but you know right, familiarity breeds contempt.

Posts from authors. Some of them are good. Some are mere plug for their upcoming books. The advertisement about the book and the author takes more space than the original content of the article.

Hypocritical posts. There are people who write articles on leadership or company culture or promoting work life balance or gender equality or what not. When you read the posts you feel like the person is genuinely good. But when you get acquainted to the person and see from a close range, you actually find them doing the opposite of what they are preaching.

Posts like “I met this random person in the airport and ended up offering a job in my company”. One or two posts might be genuine and interesting. And when you suddenly see a surge in number of such posts it makes me wonder. If so many people are helping so many people like this is unemployment will be eradicated eventually, no? Another point is that I have not seen even one such post from the stranger in Airport who got the offer thanking the person who offered the job.

Posts that are topical. “What did Trump, Modi and Zuckerberg do to get rid of cockroaches”. Right. They have nothing to do with getting rid of cockroaches but these names drag user views at any given day. It may even start a mini keyboard battle in the comment section. En of the day, more views mean popularity.

Posts that go like “We are hiring and starting a whatsapp app group to connect with prospective candidates. Please express your interest by leaving your number or email in comment section”. LinkedIn was created for that very purpose. Use that.

Posts that tell a nice story and just when you feel like you have read it somewhere, you will find the disclaimer at the bottom that it was originally by somebody else. Sometimes people forget they have ‘Share’ button just for that. You need not copy paste content as your post and give credits at the bottom. That is sly, no? Some people don’t even give those credits. Those people are duely served by Justic League in the comment section naming and shaming them as plagiarists. There is so much fun in correcting people when they are wrong.

Worse are those forwards from Whatsapp. These are just jokes and nothing else. Sometimes you don’t even get it.  But you can’t stop it, can you?

Oh and I almost forgot the new trend. Posts that say “I received a connection request and I responded to a message from that connection requesting for help. He/She told me that they have written to thousands of people and I am the only one to respond and thanked me for the consideration. People, if you cannot respond to messages then what is the point of getting on to social platform”. Now this is very clever accusation. The point is not accusing the people who dont respond but a sly promotion of themselves helping others. We won’t know if they really helped either. But hey, I posted. So I must have helped. Do you get that? Or I will accuse you of trust issues. Point taken.

Everybody wants to be somebody that they are not. They want to project a face that others may like. Everybody seeks attention. “What others think of you is none of your business” is a good advice followed by none. No wonder image consulting is a thriving business.

If you are one of those few who is sad that LinkedIn is becoming facebook and whatsapp, what do you think about LinkedIn becoming YouTube or vine?