Social networks

The world we live in is not perfect. Not everyone has enough food. Some people lack even good drinkable water. Lots of children go about without proper education, or any education at all for that matter. Some dudes can't get their hands on that great Maserati they have been dreaming about all their lives. And only one thing seems to be available in abundance - online social networks!

Facebook, Instagram (owned by FB as well, by the way), Twitter, Reddit and so on. Most of them encourage people to generate as much content as possible, since this is how they attract users and make money by advertisement. And reselling user data, let's not forget about it. The social networks don't charge money from their user base, therefore the said users are actually the product.

LinkedIn has been trying to be a little bit different. One can try and sum it up in a phrase like "Facebook for work/business". The implication was that LinkedIn was "serious". This is how I have always regarded it. My expectations from FB, IG, Twitter are extremely low - I am not surprised to see a stream of mostly naked bodies on Instagram, or an incessant flow of incomprehensible political ranting on Twitter. I can live with this as well, by simply not opening either! I am also very confident I'm not missing out on anything, other than an occasional glimpse of an especially shapely set of female buttocks.

I am, however, mildly interested in LinkedIn. After all, this is where 99% of recruiters are. The sad truth of the modern employment market is that many jobs are advertised and filled via some recruitment agencies. It makes sense to keep in touch with them, therefore, since one never knows when the axe will fall. For those who feel extremely confident in their current job I have just one number - 2020!

And so, we get to the point - LinkedIn is a kinda serious network, where I would hope to see somewhat relevant information. What I don't want to see is all the mindless rubbish other social networks are infamous for. Unfortunately, things are getting worse over time.

The main stimulus for participation in any social network is the feedback. The ever present "like" button drives human behaviour as relentlessly and vigorously as gravity. The simple and plain truth is that people would do almost anything for likes and followers! On the news we hear almost daily about another stupid sod dying, while trying to take an especially appealing picture to be posted online. I wouldn't be surprised if people killed for the same purpose already. In fiction at least this plot has already been exploited. LinkedIn is no exception in this race. More and more people post utter nonsense in order to get noticed.

A very common kind of post seems to be specifically designed to force people to like it. It consists of a question, an opinion poll really, and in order to provide the answer the viewer is expected to choose one of the available "like" buttons. For example - "which finger do you usually use to scratch your behind? Clap - for index finger, thumb up - for middle finder, satanic pentagram - for the pinky". And the sheep keep clicking.

Other examples abound. There is constant seepage of political babble from other networks. People are unable to contain their woke outrage at whatever they see on the TV 5 minutes ago and feel obliged to share with the world. Or they are pissed of at the politically correct establishment and decide to vent out. Not on Twitter, mind you - that indifferent and utterly useless black hole of the Internet, specially constructed for this kind of "information". No, the must share their indignation on LinkedIn, the only social network that has at least a bit of constructive reason for existence.

Tales of beloved family hamsters overcoming tough odds fighting unstoppable spinning wheels, and other tear-evoking personal stories are also a plenty. Granny's chemo? Check! Huge student loan, sleep-walked into while obtaining the 4th PhD in unnatural sciences? Check! A successful American leaves all behind to build schools in the darkest jungles of Congo, because, of course, every single child in the USA has perfect eduction? Check check check! Anything goes in the sacred hunt for the precious likes! For someone like me, coming to look for technical, employment or business information, this is extremely annoying to put it mildly.

The only "solution" to this problem I found so far was to start muting and unfollowing people who sin in this way. There is most certainly no point to try and educate anyone. On the contrary - were I to engage with any of them in the comments section of the offending posts, I would be walking right into their trap. Any comment, no matter its content, serves to improve the digital standing of the post's author. Ignoring and unfollowing seems to me the only possible solution. Occasionally I'd use the report button as well, but only when I feel the post is some sort of borderline criminal scam or authentic spam.

Bottom line - in 2021 there are no more truly reliable and professional social networks.

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