Why LinkedIn is my social media of choice
A few months ago I set up focus mode on my phone to minimise distractions from things that do not add to my life. Like everybody else, I found myself being sucked into hours of useless scrolling and dramatisation. Focus mode is a new Digital Wellbeing tool on my google pixel (android).
You can choose the apps that distract you (like social media) and add them to a list that will be silenced while focus mode is on. If you try to open one of your silenced apps, you will be shown a message that lets you choose a timeframe in which the app is made active. This means you can use your phone without interruptions from apps you don’t need and teaches you to take control over your unconscious scrolling.
It allows you to choose when to interact with your phone, instead of your phone choosing when to interact with you.
I don’t have an iPhone myself, but I remember hearing about a new feature — a feature that tells you how many hours a day you spend on certain apps. This caused outrage (ironically, on social media) when people realised how long they were spending on these apps, with many people spending 3 or more hours a day on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram.
So what’s LinkedIn?
For those of you who may not use LinkedIn, it’s pretty much a professional version of Facebook. You can post, share, comment and connect with other professionals across many different industries.
LinkedIn definition — Manage your professional identity. Build and engage with your professional network. Access knowledge, insights and opportunities.
Wikipedia definition — the platform is mainly used for professional networking and allows job seekers to post their CVs and employers to post jobs.
When I first started using LinkedIn back in 2014, it was to enhance my professional connections. But things have moved on since then. My LinkedIn is where I share my passions with likeminded people. I share a lot about mental health, feminism and UX, as well as my medium articles, like this one. There are no barriers to who your posts connect with— from graduates to CEOs.
Sat, scrolling through the nothingness of social media, endlessly. Share, tag, retweet, scroll, repeat. I call it ‘mental haze’, reminiscent of a youtube hole. Like you’re still in place and the whole world is moving around you. Hours pass while you waste your existence. Mental haze starts to creep into time with your friend/family/partners.
You are what you read
Social media is a platform to share your life and stay connected. It also allows people to degrade, criticise, belittle, bully and abuse on a large scale. This can lead to a never-ending list of mental health issues including severe insecurities, depression, anxiety, and in extreme prolonged causes, suicide.
If you were asked to write down one thing each day that you learn, would it be what your friend had for dinner? Or maybe that it’s been 4 years since that one memory Facebook is reminding you of today. Founder of Social Chain, Steven Bartlett, talks in his podcast ‘A Diary of a CEO’ about how social media is changing his perspectives and shaping the information he consumes in his life. Whether the information is teaching you something, not teaching you anything at all or teaching you something that isn’t true — fake news.
My timeline is my library, it’s the modern-day library. Your timeline is your library. And if it is a library, what are the books that I am currently reading? I’m reading gossip magazines. I am reading Okay or Hello magazine…
This year I am upgrading my library. One by one, I am unfollowing anybody on my timeline that tweets or posts stuff that I don’t think is serving to improve my mental state, my information, my perspective on the world. And I am replacing them with one person that is. I genuinely believe [and I think psychology backs this up] that by doing this you can really change your life.
Be the change
It’s no secret that people are their best selves when they are being watched, especially when it comes to their professional circles. That being said, there are still people who share their thoughts through sexism, racism and other negative beliefs — but it’s rare that I see this on LinkedIn. And can very easily be reported.
LinkedIn is what social media should be. It’s real and honest and, for the most part, without the ‘keyboard warriors’ and toxic culture bread by social media. Everyone is responsible for what they say and do, and those responsibilities translate to the real world. It forces people to think twice about their intentions and values in every interaction.
Another angle is that you can see the real people behind companies and services. I am someone who cares and wants to learn about the companies that I purchase from. If a CEO is spouting sexist rubbish on LinkedIn because they are of a certain level and think it’s okay (and yes, that happens)— that changes the way I think of that company.
So, why is LinkedIn my social media of choice?
Every day I choose to be my adult self, a self that is logical and passionate, a self that has grown through ups and downs. I choose to not be petty and immature, I grew out of that. In the same way, I grew out of social media.
I choose to be my best self. I choose LinkedIn.