Why I Still Post on LinkedIn

Ah LinkedIn. In the famous words of the movie Brokeback Mountain, “I can not quit you.” Over the last year and a half, I’ve probably written nearly 1,300 posts. Twice a day, every day. Most of the people who started writing at the time I did have either quit or lessened their efforts considerably. But not me.

Nope. Still going strong.

People have called me admirable for this, a model of consistency, something to look up to. Excuse me for being rude for a second but I don’t agree. It would be more brave if I had the courage to quit, leave everything behind and try something new. But I can’t seem to do it.

You see, I have no reason to keep writing. I’ve said everything I wanted to say. I’m not trying to gain clients. I don’t need any more people in my network. I don’t need or want…anything, really. Some people think I give a shit about the community I’ve started or that I like to help people. But neither of things are true. My “community” would go on without me and I don’t really care about helping people.

So why am I still there?

Because I want to be Seen.

This reminds me of the famous saying, if a tree falls in the forest and no one hears it, does it make a sound? I want people to hear me making a sound. And I fear that if I stop making a sound in the form of writing LinkedIn posts, then in some strange way I stop existing.

Whoa, deep. But it’s true. The real reason I write on LinkedIn is because I need to feel like I exist. People reacting to my posts, commenting, sending me messages, etc make me feel like I’m worthy, that I’m worth paying attention to, and that I Matter. In other areas of my life, I don’t feel like I matter much, or that anyone is paying attention to me.

But on LinkedIn! Wow! I get tagged in posts. I get thousands of views. People get what I’m saying, and they Get Me. It’s intoxicating, yo.

As I write these words, I realize that what I’m saying is patently false. None of this shit matters. No amount of approval or Mattering on LinkedIn is gonna make me feel like I matter. So, yeah, rationally I realize that what I’m saying in this post is a whole lot of bullshit.

But emotionally? I’m hooked. I write to matter. My being can’t live without that. And so, I’m sticking around until my emotional brain realizes what my rational brain knows: that I don’t need LinkedIn to matter. Until that happens, I’ll post twice a day, every day. The illusion of mattering is real strong, and I’m not strong enough to break it.

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Jon Tesser

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