Why I Really Came Back To LinkedIn

Jon Tesser
3 min readJan 2, 2022

One of the problems with going so far down the personal development rabbit hole is that you can’t lie to yourself anymore. That means that decisions made often have “inconvenient truths” associate with them, things you don’t want to admit but you know deep down are true.

Convenient Truth #1 — Young Peeps Need My Help

And so it is with my return to activity on LinkedIn. The good news is that the main reason I came back, the reason I shared publicly with the world, stands up to my Truth Scrutiny. I spent some time looking at my feed on the social network and didn’t like what I saw. Fakeness everywhere with a smattering of entertainment.

I felt a duty to return and Be The Voice of reason, encouragement, and motivation for young professionals. They’re not getting this from anyone else, and my message needs to be heard. I feel a sense of mission and purpose that I must be on the network to help them by sharing things they need to hear. So in this sense, my return is bigger than me.

Sounds good, right? I could leave it off there. But that’s not what I’m all about. I’m about taking off masks and revealing truths.

Inconvenient Truth #1 — I Need To Stave Off Loneliness

I’ve written a lot about loneliness here recently, a loneliness that I feel deep in my bones as I explore my spiritual side. LinkedIn provides a temporary relief to loneliness as I engage in conversation with various people, getting to know them and “feeling connected.”

But I know that this isn’t really making me feel connected. Most of the people I talked to will be “one and done” and the relationships won’t turn into anything deeper.

Inconvenient Truth #2 — I Need To Feel Important and Powerful

When you have 149K followers, you feel powerful. So many eyeballs see you, read you, and react to you. It’s intoxicating and it’s why people seek fame. I missed the powerful feeling that I mattered, and there isn’t a person with a large following that can deny what I’m saying here.

But just like inconvenient truth number 1, it’s an illusion. Sure, some people like my message and what I’m sharing, but none of them really See Me or support me. I learned this during my three month sabbatical when no one checked in to see how I’m doing. Again, I’m ok with this, but to deny the pull of external validation would be a lie.

Inconvenient Truth #3 — I Need To Pass The Time

It’s pandemic deja vu. My kids are around 24/7, and while I love them dearly, I need an escape. LinkedIn provides a wonderful way for me to waste time scrolling, responding to conversations, adding and taking people away from my network, etc. Too much kid time will drive me insane, so LinkedIn is a perfect escape mechanism.

So there you have it. Yeah, I’m mostly back on LinkedIn to help young folks. It’s my mission in life. But I’m also there for these reasons. Honesty is always the best policy, even if you don’t like what you see.

Is it working out for me? Not so much so far. My engagement has tanked. People are mostly indifferent to my message. The conversations are fun, but feel empty and insubstantial. But I am motivated to help. I’ll figure out a way to do it, LinkedIn or not. Once I put my mind to something nothing can stop me.



Jon Tesser

I use data to understand people. I also help early career professionals find career happiness.