Is LinkedIn a positive or a toxic place?

As a college student, I am always on the search for new opportunities and openings, like all others. In the same pursuit, I downloaded LinkedIn on my mobile phone. I expected that this would help me gain access to more research and internship opportunities.

However, after spending a couple of months on this application, I have come to feel that the employment-oriented platform is no different than any other social media platform.

While many of us complain that Instagram and Facebook are dangerous and useless, LinkedIn can’t be described differently. Also, when we say that Instagram and Facebook are spreading toxicity and increasing anxiety issues in people, I believe that LinkedIn should be kept first in the line.


The one thing I completely hate about LinkedIn and its users is the habit of bragging about their achievements. I understand that LinkedIn, being an employment and profession-driven platform, requires the members to list their achievements which prospective employers can refer to. And frankly, I have no issue with that. The issue arises when even small and negligible achievements, which will not attract any employer, are bragged about. I recently came across someone’s post. It feels as though people are running a rat race of pulling each other down. 

The extensive, and at times meaningless, show-off by some can ward off others. It can also trigger anxiety, making some feel that they are either not good enough or they aren’t doing much productive work in their life. 

I came to hate this habit more post the lockdown because when many people were barely able to go ahead with another day without getting upset or feeling under-productive, LinkedIn was quick to remind them that others were doing far better than them. 

Some real FOMO!

  • LinkedIn Influencers

Life is already giving us enough gyaan and we have enough influencers on Facebook and Instagram. Can’t we leave out one platform?

Honest to God, I am fed up with LinkedIn influencers. They talk about everything and nothing, from business tips and tricks to commoner issues that aren’t related to professional or occupational fields at all.

While I find the relevant advice helpful and insightful, I fail to understand the need for meaningless preaching. 

  • No actual jobs

Keeping in mind the motive behind this social media platform, I can say that it isn’t serving its purpose. It had one job, to make employers meet employees.

But unfortunately, not a lot of genuine opportunities are available on LinkedIn. And those which are available are lost in the pool of useless posts. 

This defeats the purpose for which the professional platform was created, thus warranting introspection.

  • The DM Problem

Now, this is a big issue. LinkedIn, as already mentioned, is meant to be a professional platform. However, it is quickly mutating into Facebook, or if I may, Tinder. 

LinkedIn DMs have become a big problem for many, both men and women alike. Connections and even non-connections reaching out in the DMs to flirt isn’t why people downloaded the application.

The subtle art of asking how was the day and then asking someone out is finding various fans on LinkedIn. However, the same is dissuading many from continuing their membership on this platform.

While I am fully aware of the professional goals that LinkedIn and its members seek to achieve, it’s time we introspect and start using the platform for what was created.

LinkedIn can be a great place to find opportunities and make connections, but it can also be a breeding ground for toxicity. 

Unfortunately, there are people out there who try to take advantage of others or make them feel bad about themselves.

This is known as “toxic positivity“.

In this blog post, we will discuss what toxic positivity is and how to spot and avoid it on LinkedIn.

What Is Toxic Positivity? 

As a simple definition, toxic positivity is an obsession with optimistic thinking; it’s believing that people should put a positive spin on all experiences, even those that are profoundly tragic. 

Sometimes, toxic positivity is a type of behaviour that involves trying to make others feel bad about themselves to make themselves look better. 

It can take many different forms, such as making someone feel inferior, putting them down, or constantly criticizing them. 

For example, toxic positivity could be like:

  • Telling a parent whose child has passed away to be happy that at least they can have children
  • Telling people after something catastrophic that “everything happens for a reason”
  • Pushing someone to focus on the positive aspects of a devastating loss
  • Telling people to get over their grief or suffering by looking at the good things in their life
  • Brushing off someone’s concerns with “it could be worse”
Is LinkedIn a positive or a toxic place
Image – Linkedin

How To Spot Toxic Positivity On LinkedIn

Toxic positivity often occurs online, but increasingly so on LinkedIn in particular. 

Due to the nature of LinkedIn, users have now fostered a relentless “can-do, will-do” attitude in the contemporary working environment. 

As we mentioned earlier, toxic positivity occurs when people believe that we need to be optimistic in every situation. 

And as a social platform that is naturally plugged into work and corporate culture, LinkedIn is a breeding ground for toxic positivity. 

Today, project managers congratulate team members on performance for others to aspire to, and other users are putting themselves out there seeking new opportunities by celebrating accomplishments and talents. 

With so much emphasis on positivity, there simply is no room for negativity. 

Consequently, this has led people to believe that any hint towards negative feelings is enough to tarnish our reputation within our circle or industry, in the same manner, that simply stating ‘no’ at work may brand us as uncooperative and inflexible. 

As a result, we end up in a situation where we can only react positively otherwise it could harm our status or relationship with others.

For a lot of individuals, LinkedIn may be a rather natural source of worry, affecting how we perceive and assess our self-image and position in the world, and can set off many triggers that relate to self-doubt. 

For instance:

  • Comparison with peers and respected figures within the industry, age group or social circle
  • Self-realization
  • Fulfilment of goals
  • Self-evaluation of performance, status and identity

Don’t Minimize Feelings

If someone opens up about their negative emotion, the worst thing you could do is disregard their feelings. 

This includes, making statements like, “it could have been worse”, “it’s not that bad” or “don’t be a drama queen”. 

Instead, be empathetic by responding with “I can’t imagine how you must feel”, “you’re dealing with a lot” or “that must be frustrating”.

Be Authentic 

Give yourself and others permission to feel all feelings, even “bad” ones, to work through them and let them go when the time is right. 

If we don’t act with honesty, it impairs our ability to form social relationships and destroys trust in us.

Remember, Everything Is Constructed On Social Media

Social media is not a true reflection of reality, so if you’re having a tough time, don’t become addicted to social media and keep in mind that, more often than not, it reflects a false reality of perpetual happiness and perfection.

Don’t Compare Yourself To Others

We all have had different life experiences that have moulded us and made us handle things differently. 

And your response is not incorrect if your friend responds to something in a manner that differs from yours. 

Some individuals are naturally happier than others, and some have had negative experiences that have conditioned them to focus on the bad things more than the pleasant things. 

Remember: we experience feelings in different ways.

The Summary

Toxic positivity encourages people to ignore difficult emotions, which could make these feel more intense later. 

Positive thinking has advantages, but no one can think positively all of the time. 

And someone who is being forced to express solely good feelings may be unable to communicate and, as a result, might feel bad about themselves for having negative thoughts.

As with anything, the more you put into LinkedIn, the more you’ll get out of it – but a personalized headline and summary elevate your profile above others. Pay mind, too, to what keywords or skills a recruiter may be searching for and try to prioritise them high up.

At that point, unless you’re actively job-hunting, you can relax. You’ve now posted your resume to a bulletin board; you never know who might see it. Though, if my own “Who’s viewed your profile?” page is anything to go by, it’s disproportionately men you’ve matched with on Tinder.

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