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Meme-Shaming on LinkedIn (and Why It’s Not a Good Idea)

Does civility matter any more?

The other day I posted an update to LinkedIn posting the following question:

What’s worse? Posting an off-topic comment, puzzle or gif on LinkedIn? Or picking a fight with someone who posted an off-topic comment, puzzle or gif on LinkedIn?

My premise was this: That even though we are bothered by the drip-drip-drip of off-topic posts in the LinkedIn news feed, there is little to be gained from meme-shaming and fighting with others on a public networking site.

LinkedIn is an important component of our personal and professional brand. We use it to let potential employers, clients and partners know who we are, what we do and why they should do business with us. In classes and workshops, I tell students they should write on LinkedIn the way the way they speak in interviews — with passion, brevity and clarity.

That’s true on our profile pages, in groups and in dealing with others. We know that our profile pages are public, but we sometimes forget that our comments are public, too. And rushing to condemn others for posting “inappropriate Facebook content” on LinkedIn may do as much damage to your brand as complaining about your boss.

Clearly, passions run high on this topic.  There’s a status update in my news feed this morning, created by an 11-year user of LinkedIn, that pleads with LinkedIn to add a “dislike” or “not business related” button to fend of math questions and people “begging for ‘Likes and Shares’.” The update had more than 11,000 likes and more than 2,000 comments this morning.

I never see memes posted by my LinkedIn connections. Instead, they more often show up when someone I know comments on something posted by someone else. When this happens, I can’t help but check to see what my connection said — and sometimes I’m surprised by the strong words.

There are people in my LinkedIn network who hate — hate — the “Facebookification” of LinkedIn. I can’t say that I blame them. Many of these posts are misplaced, and I’d rather have better controls over what shows up in my news feed. But for now, I choose to ignore the irrelevant.

And I never post something I don’t want the world to see.

How about you?  What posts get your goat on LinkedIn, and what have you done about them? Have you ever seen something on LinkedIn that made you cringe?

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