I have something to admit to you. I am tired.
I am extremely tired.
Yes. I admit that I drive from New Jersey to Maryland twice a week amounting to 12 hours in a car per week. I also get up at 5am to do this and get home generally around 930pm to then eat, do more work if needed or try and relax, and then do it again. I do this for my career, and yes it makes me tired enough to fall asleep for four hours on a Saturday afternoon after sleeping ten hours that night. But that isn’t why I am tired, or at least it isn’t why I am writing this post. I am so very extremely tired of the nonstop fire hose of bullshit that is being spewed on a daily basis, from what seems like every human being on the planet twenty-four hours a day for the sole purpose of egocentric grandstanding. And I know. We get it. People are narcissistic on social media. What is he going to tell us next, “that a lack of sleep makes you tired?” No. I mean well yes a lack of sleep makes you tired. I am living proof of that, and I am sure I am slowly taking years off my life, but we already talked about that. I am not just ranting about the “people are ego maniacs on social media” thing. I get it. That is old hat as they say (in the early part of the twentieth century).
What am I really tired of, what I am truly starting to feel almost pressure mounting inside of me to somehow be a part of, is that being this fake persona is now a full-time job with every aspect of your life on social media! It isn’t that you just get to act like your life is great and awesome on Facebook anymore, and that you and your significant other are soooooooooo happy on your anniversary, when you share it with all of your few actual friends and numerous random acquaintances, even though everyone knows we haven’t heard a peep about how amazing either of you think the other one is until that special randomly selected day you chose to get married. No. No that would be just too simple and even manageable. Now you need to come up with witty or deep meaningful Tweets to say after every cultural event or trendy moment as a hashtag (if you’re over 25 Twitter is that thing the President uses as diplomacy). But wait. You can’t stop there. You ALSO need to share those amazing photos from your island adventures! You know the ones that you took hours to painstakingly comb through hundreds of to find those one to three Instagram worthy photos that you casually shared (NOT IN A ROW – ARE YOU INSANE!!!) like you are some professional photographer getting paid for your Instashots. I know what you’re thinking though. Hey, you do some of that stuff on your social media (said the five people who read this who also know me).
You’re right. You caught me. Yes my life IS awesome and I AM happy most of the time. I do say incredibly witty and poignant things, and YES those images you see are from my incredibly artsy pedigree that captured those mountain top sunrises on one of my amazing adventures. I am fine with all of that as a job outside of a job!! I take ownership of the simple social media acts of our every day lives that were acceptable in 2016. That stuff, although it takes time, can be done while sitting in bumper to bumper traffic or at a light, or in the bathroom, or any time I want as long as it doesn’t interfere with actual human interactions.
But where I draw the line is this new LinkedIn commitment hell we are living in!! ENOUGH! Just when you thought you couldn’t take on any more tasks to show the world how amazing you are, you now need to show your professional contacts, recruiters, potential employers, and random friends you accept on a professional network how amazing you are in your professional interests OUTSIDE OF WORK!!
I CAN’T DO IT! I am sorry. I just don’t have the time, what with eating and sleeping, and doing some quiet burpees and planks as a work out before I enter the shower. You are breaking me LinkedIn! Yes I read the article on the new Virtual Reality headset. Can’t I just read it and consume the information WITHOUT having to then share it on LinkedIn and say something smart so other random people think, “Wow. He is very insightful. Let me throw bags of money at him.” Or worse maybe I don’t share a fancy business article to show everyone I am keeping up on my professional reading, but I decide to share some business networking event or lecture I saw on my free time outside of work (where is everyone getting this time?!). Then I AGAIN need to say something super insightful to get more jobs and more bags of money thrown at me from potential employers!
Can’t I just watch the latest Punisher on Netflix once in awhile (it’s a good show that is keeping my interest and isn’t as horrific as Whiny Fist or Iron Complainer or whatever)? Can’t I just play a dumb game with my kid? I work hard. I work really hard, and I am good at what I do, and I think my career and my accomplishments speak for themselves. Why are you now adding the pressure of constantly being in a professional interview 24 hours a day, on top of showing how amazing I am to friends and family on traditional social media, by making me showboat my business skills and brilliance to a bunch of recruiters and people looking for jobs?
If only I didn’t spend 12 hours driving a week!! Then maybe I would have more time to show the business world how smart and savvy I am! If only we had self-driving cars!! Then I would have time to show recruiters that I can click “share” on Business Insider articles too like everyone else and say something smart! If only I had a job where I didn’t spend 12 hours a week in the car! If only there was some place where people could find me and offer me a new job!!
Wait. Damn you LinkedIn. Well played.
Well played LinkedIn.