Why Do We Find LinkedIn So Cringe?

There are several reasons jostling for first place, from the type of people who want to be so-called LinkedInfluencers to the nature of corporate jargon. But I think the crux of the cringe (the cringe crux, if you will) is that the relationship between individuals and commodifying oneself is the inverse of most other social media platforms. Instagram, Twitter, and TikTok all, at least in theory, started with a focus on individuals, whether they were finding community, creating aspirational versions of themselves, or building their own voices. Commercializing those personalities came later, when advertisers recognized the value of so many people’s attention and started paying for access to built-in audiences. In contrast, monetization was part of LinkedIn from the beginning, in the sense that its users were creating an online resumé to show how and why they deserve to be hired. The personality-driven posting came later.

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