A deep dive into inspirational content from the worst social media
POV: You wake up as the main character in a cautionary tale. The rich have engineered a new social network where capitalists and white-collar workers communicate in corporatespeak, a language composed entirely of meaningless buzzwords. Stories of generational wealth and privilege are re-packaged into heroic tales of meritocracy and hard work, receiving floods of praise and re-shares. The self-validating ramblings of girlbosses have become the new Aesop fables.
Welcome to LinkedIn—a social media so bad that it makes the founders of Snapchat quiver in fear, so frighteningly dystopian that it has 2013 YA fiction writers wishing they could milk this concept into a film trilogy flop, and so feverishly capitalistic that it has Marx and Gramsci turning in their graves, screaming ‘I told you so!’
But, it’s not all terrible. Beyond the random connection requests from strangers, persistent notifications asking ‘do you know [vaguely familiar name]’, and over-abundance of philanthropist and life coach profiles, LinkedIn’s one redeeming feature is its plethora of inspirational content. The platform is truly an all-you-can-eat chicken soup buffet for the soul, or more accurately, for the soulless.
During our deep dive of LinkedIn, we will be exploring the various categories of motivational posts on offer. However, in contrast to our beloved LinkedIn influencers, I will not be copying and pasting the same story template in attempts to fish reactions from my 500+ connections. Instead, I’ll be providing my own original impressions, a testament to my dedication in advancing scholarly research in this area.
The cliché moral lesson
Yesterday, I arrived early for an interview at my dream company.
In the queue to the building’s cafe, the man in front of me had forgotten his wallet, and couldn’t pay for his large unicorn frappuccino. He was dressed in old sweatpants.
The other interviewees behind me, clad in expensive designer suits, booed loudly.
I opened my heavy Gucci wallet, annoyingly weighed down with poor-people coins, and bought the dishevelled man a kid’s fluffy, the cheapest item on the menu.
When I handed the tiny cup to him, I realised that he was Elon Musk.
Touched by my awe-inspiring selflessness, generosity, and kindness, he hired me on the spot.
After a week of working at Tesla, Elon decided to permanently move to the moon, leaving his entire company to me, as well as all nine of his children.
Never judge a book by its cover…
Who doesn’t love the classic ‘interviewee did something altruistic unknowingly for the interviewer, and is hired instantly’ gag, with a side of overused moral of the story? But, the cherry on top is that these posts are all written in the style of our generation’s best wordsmith, Noah Centineo, utilising his literary technique of saying a whole lot, while simultaneously saying nothing at all. Insightful React!
Humanity’s greatest ethical dilemma
Interns should be…
Financially compensated for their work (LIKE REACT)
Forced to do free labour? (CELEBRATE REACT)
LinkedIn is the philosopher’s paradise. No matter where you look, there will always be influencers engaged in deep debate over whether unpaid labour can be morally justified. The comments underneath these posts look like if you rounded up every devil’s advocate you’ve ever encountered in a business paper, and then shoved them all into one battle arena. It’s a stunning spectacle, watching people blatantly dismiss the struggles of those oppressed by structural inequity. Curious React!
The tone-deaf ‘rags to riches’ narrative
People always ask me, ‘how do you juggle being the CEO of a seven-figure business, director of five wildlife charities, mother to three child prodigies, and two-time winner of Women’s Weekly Best Smile award?’
‘How did you become superior to everyone else?’.
My reply to my adoring minions is always the same, simple answer.
‘Never give up’.
Ten years ago, I was working a 9-5 desk job, receiving a salary that only covered one annual holiday to the Bahamas.
One day, I decided enough was enough. It was hardly a life, waiting ‘til July to sip coconuts on pink sand. I called my uncle, who instantly offered me the position of Treasurer at his billion-dollar company.
Today, I am writing this stirringly inspirational post in a Bahamian beach-front luxury villa, where I now permanently reside.
If I can do it, so can you.
#foodforthought #personaldevelopment #motivation #leadership
The iconic ‘girlboss in desperate need of a privilege check’, Oprah-worthy story never fails to pull on our heart-strings. After hearing the ‘if I can do it, so can you’ advice, my entrepreneurial spirit is so ignited the only thing I want to do is start my own pyramid scheme, and publish a self-help book.
Still not convinced? Outside of LinkedIn, these golden words of wisdom have also been utilised by the likes of Kim Kardashian, who recently said that the beauty standards she perpetuates are reachable—‘if I’m doing it, it’s attainable’. Love React!
The hard-work fetish even OnlyFans wouldn’t monetise
Yesterday, I got married to the love of my life.
On our wedding day, she also gave birth to our beautiful twins.
Today, I made the difficult decision to take a few days off work and LinkedIn to spend time with her and the children. If she hadn’t sneakily changed my wedding vows to include promising time-off, I would’ve continued to work my usual 80-hour schedule.
Apologies if you don’t hear from me until Friday, see you on the other side!
To wrap up this deep dive, we will end with what the platform does best—the incessant worshipping and glamourisation of hustle culture in all of its venomous forms. If, for whatever concerning reason, you’re in need of a riSe aNd gRinD fix, look no further than LinkedIn, the best exhibition of cultural hegemony you’ll ever attend. Celebrate React!
Maybe I’m being over-dramatic. Maybe I am being overly critical of a social network where people just want to increase their odds of finding a tolerable job in this brutal and dry labour market. Let’s not forget that the majority of users do not publish patronising and ego-inflating content—it’s really just the small group of LinkedIn ‘influencers’ making the platform insufferable.
But, in my defence, if I’m gonna go full Boomer and rant about how social media has corrupted the youth, I still think LinkedIn is a deserving target. Especially considering the (albeit much-deserved) slack Instagram receives for being fake and upholding toxic standards, it’s time we distributed the criticism around a little. After all…
*cue cliché LinkedIn style moral lesson and sign-off*
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