"Fear of Missing Out on Work" induced by LinkedIn
In the time when all the activities have moved to the virtual world, LinkedIn hosts every individual and organization that wants to build their career or business respectively. And, it should be the case LinkedIn is an amazing platform to form connection across the industry, find mentors, access crucial updates on job search, market your products to reach the right target audience. Yet, like any social media platform, LinkedIn has its own sets of negatives and the most important one is the fear of missing out on work (FOMOW), it is inducing on its users. I am borrowing this term from the famous sit-com Brooklyn Nine-Nine as it fits the situation perfectly. We keep listening that not being on LinkedIn means you are not serious about your career, that is the market position LinkedIn has created for itself. Individuals who are not LinkedIn are continuously feel pestered to be there and when they enter they feel pestered to get involved more in a never-ending cycle.
We have all been familiar with how Facebook, Instagram users portray having the best and fulfilling life while reality can be very far away from the perception. Similarly, LinkedIn profiles create a mirage of stellar career performance, clear life plans, and a sense of intellectualism. The users face the sense of missing out on their career while following other people. One may start searching for a job and after some time end up regretting their existence while checking out hundreds of profiles of their peers.
To improve visibility or what we can say recognition, the participates have started focusing on fast learning instead of deep learning. Taking the examples of certificate courses offered by various platforms like Coursera and Udemy bank on this need for their products. People are stopping to care about how deeply they should work on one course but are focussing on how many certificates they acquire. Hence, the student feels the need to complete as many courses as they can without realizing the value of most of them. Not picking up the courses to get the expert status (which will require longer hours) but picking up those which can be done quickly to share it on LinkedIn. Creating a workforce with a stellar profile with average skill. The companies in the future would require skills in the long term, hence, it is empirical to focus on learning and not fall into the trap into the myth of longer CVs.
LinkedIn was used to help professionals and students to help them grow and connect in a social format. Although, it is turning into a place where people are boasting about it which makes many individuals vulnerable to share any kind of drawbacks about them. Hence, facing the need to capture any random opportunity to get that little bit of spotlight on them. On the other hand, the number of connections seems like a popularity contest like Instagram followers. One must ask themselves out of these connections, how have they gained learnings, do they feel comfortable to reach out to them, how are they linked to their specific industry. Only when the focus shift from quantity to quality, the true meaning of networking will come in.
Coming next to the content sharing, after the coronavirus pandemic, the content shared on LinkedIn has increased exponentially. From students to CEO, from fashionista to comedians, the feed is full of content. The users feel that they are not working hard or are not disciplined enough when they see the likes on their peer posts or that ‘trending’ notification of their friends. Therefore, resulting in them posting their content only to satisfy their need to fill their activity feed, so they won’t be left out. It is natural to feel happy when the work gets popular but creating content just for the likes is not healthy behavior. On LinkedIn, the right thing to do is trying to build a personal brand, stay true to your content, enjoy the process, and know how to prioritize (it is not worth failing the exams, to reply to your comments).
LinkedIn is a very unique and wondrous platform, every professional can showcase their work and connect to the world in a disciplined manner that was not accessible before. By getting anxious, intimidated, and feeling fear of missing out on work (FOMOW) can result in counterproductive growth which won’t let one sustain both in their personal life (bringing feeling of depression) and professional life. It is important not to get addicted to LinkedIn scrolling aimlessly and stalking people for hours but to use it efficiently and effectively.
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