LinkedIn's Obnoxious Culture Comes From A Lack of Class Consciousness
Without unions, 21st-century workers result to self preservation and careerism.
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With unions all but extinct in the white-collar sector, the spirit of worker collectivism is nowhere to be found. Gone are the days when workers saw themselves as part of a united group fighting to earn better lives for themselves and their families. In the absence of class consciousness, something more sinister has taken its place. Unable to raise the tide of labor, American workers in the tech, finance, and medical industries have turned to self-interested careerism. Instead of forming a unified front, those who work in industries that arose after the decline of American unions have been left to fight each other for coveted promotions and sporadic job openings.
Nowhere is this more evident than on LinkedIn.
What was once a useful job-finding website has quickly become a social media platform dedicated solely to bragging about accomplishments in corporate America. (As someone who recently tried to find a job through LinkedIn, I can confirm it’s no longer useful for finding employment.) Users celebrate their work anniversaries, marketing campaigns, and anything else that will impress their professional connections, all for the purpose of building clout that will one day help them climb the corporate ladder. (I’m as guilty of this as anyone.)
Most notoriously is the “sorry, not sorry” posts that accompany mass layoffs. Whenever news of a leading tech company firing a significant portion of its workforce makes the headlines, LinkedIn users rush to post about how sorry they are for their former co-workers — and let their network know that they are part of the 90% or so that Spotify, HubSpot, or Google chose not to fire.
But while LinkedIn culture might be self-aggrandizing and obnoxious, it is not the fault of the workers who use it. Those who frequently post and obsequiously praise their bosses are only doing what is natural given their circumstances. With no collectivist means to improve their lives, they are left to self-preservation.
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