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Could LinkedIn be Impacting your Mental Health?

May 12, 2022
Could LinkedIn be Impacting your Mental Health?

Too much of anything can be detrimental to our physical and mental health, and social media is globally known to have a negative impact when used too much. 

A piece published by McLean highlighted that “Social media has a reinforcing nature. Using it activates the brain’s reward centre by releasing dopamine, a “feel-good chemical” linked to pleasurable activities such as sex, food, and social interaction. The platforms are designed to be addictive and are associated with anxiety, depression, and even physical ailments.

According to the Pew Research Center, 69% of adults and 81% of teens in the U.S. use social media. This puts a large amount of the population at an increased risk of feeling anxious, depressed, or ill over their social media use.”

But, when we think of social media - what springs to your mind? Is it losing yourself in the abyss that is TikTok, or adjusting the filters on a photo before you post to Instagram? In fact, social media can be any online media that is used to network, and LinkedIn falls into that bracket. 

Measuring someone by their social score

Ever seen that episode of Black Mirror where people’s social scores indicate how much respect they get and the opportunities they are exposed to? 

In a parallel universe, LinkedIn can become this place; a melting pot of voices looking for likes and engagement, but instead of validation from your latest selfie, it’s professional validation - which a lot of us base our success and even our happiness on.

It isn’t all doom and gloom, though. LinkedIn can be an excellent place to network and capitalise on new opportunities, but it is equally a smokescreen for people to hide behind.

Curated content is not reality

We know this, but we must remind ourselves that LinkedIn is guilty of curated content as much as any other social media platform is. 

Comparison is the thief of joy, and professional comparison can be just as difficult to comprehend, especially as LinkedIn has a completely different function from any other social media platform out there. 

What you share has to be curated in many respects, because it’s the professional version of you. 

Don’t underestimate the power of human connection

Although using LinkedIn can be an incredibly effective tool for networking, you don’t want to run the risk of using it as your only form of connection. 

Make sure that the person you are on LinkedIn is who you are in real life, and never underestimate how important it is to have face-to-face connections, even in a predominantly remote and digital world. 

If it feels like too much, it probably is too much

Mindlessly scrolling on LinkedIn can be just as damaging as any other social platform. If you feel overwhelmed, uninspired, or simply irritated by the platform, take some time to “declutter” your connections and instead curate a feed that will make you feel good.

Here are some things we recommend:
  • Set a time limit to how long you’re on LinkedIn. If your job revolves around LinkedIn, ensure that you take regular breaks from it.
  • Disconnect with anyone who isn’t adding value to you. It sounds harsh, but what you read online can impact how you feel. If it doesn’t serve you, remove it.
  • Be authentic. Ensure that who you are online is who you are in person.
  • Ignore likes and comments. They don’t equate to success, and building a strong personal brand takes time and perseverance (and a little sprinkle of luck in some cases)
  • Be kind to yourself! Social media is not real life. Sometimes, it’s that little reminder we need to bring us back to reality.

Has LinkedIn affected your mental health?

We're always eager to hear your perspectives and experiences. Let us know in the comments section below how you manage your social media consumption to keep it healthy.

If you've been feeling social media's impact on your mental health, check out our free Mental Health in the Workplace handbook, available to download now.


download our handbook for mental health at work

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