When I first uploaded a photo of myself on LinkedIn back in 2007 my colleagues chided me for posting my "glam shot." I've noticed more and more executives posting a few headshots in different poses. Adding the inquiry to their network "which photo should I use in my profile pic?"
Cringe-worthy? Maybe. The new normal? Certainly.
This behavior wouldn't have struck me as particularly unusual on Facebook. Even less so on Instagram, and Snapchat. I would have scrolled or swiped through to the next piece of content.
So why does this bother us when we see it on LinkedIn?
Ten years ago the unspoken understanding was that if you were on the platform, you were there to get a new job. LinkedIn even allowed you to hide your profile from others in your company. Ensuring your boss would never see your profile and assume you were on the hunt.
The content and the conversations were v-e-r-y dry. This lighter "Facebookification" of content didn't happen overnight. It's been a gradual progression of cultural acceptance and norms.
People who remember those "dry days" feel uneasy when they see this new edgier content. This is where they went into "stealth mode" to get a new job after all. They would have never asked their networks feedback about their profile photo. Heck, they never even uploaded a photo!
Others who have just joined are just mapping their normal social media behavior from other networks onto the business site. They don't see anything wrong with it.
How did this happen?
Back when Facebook was gaining popularity among my generation (X) it was slow moving. Some posted updates from the mundane "John is: excited it's Friday!" To the silly "Joe sent you an invite to play, (insert game name here)."
Today Facebook has become an extension of everything in our lives.
It's our town hall, poker night, kids soccer game. It's our girl's night out, our news channel, and vacation. Lately, it's even become out political rally.
It's human nature. And it's a definitive cultural shift.
What can we do about it?
The more comfortable people get with a social media platform, the more uncomfortable the content they share becomes. If the lighter, even silly content bothers you, do what I do. Let LinkedIn help you curate your news feed.
If you see content you don't like, just click on the three dots in the upper right-hand corner of the post.
When you do this, LinkedIn offers you three options:
- Hide this post
For me, this was a necessary change to ensure that I have a great experience on LinkedIn. I do the same on Facebook too.
Like every other platform before it, LinkedIn is evolving. They've just released a new interface and it looks more like Facebook than ever. I love it.
LinkedIn is the new Facebook. Deal with it.