My LinkedIn account has exploded over the last year.
That’s where the addiction all started.
“With every sexy, bright red, notification came a form of validation that made me feel worthy like I was somebody.”
What’s wrong with checking LinkedIn every 30 minutes?
That was the big question I asked myself. The answer was that I had become dependant on it. If people didn’t like what I was doing on LinkedIn, I’d have a bad day. LinkedIn was making me lose touch with the real world and all its glory.
I’d forgotten about travel.
I’d forgotten about nature.
I’d forgotten about love.
One bad comment from a former colleague made me lose prospective.
Generally, I deal with the Internet Trolls pretty well. That was until a former colleague I used to work with, who messed up badly at work, posted on one of my articles. I thought we were friends before the comment and then afterwards I had second thoughts.
She accused me of all sorts of things. I didn’t think they were true, but it made me mad.
I was mad, and I didn’t know why. I’d become addicted to LinkedIn, and I didn’t know why.
I think I was in denial at this stage.
Then the viral LinkedIn post happened.
Having millions read my blog post on LinkedIn sent the addiction into overdrive.
I became obsessed with responding to every comment in real-time because I knew that was a secret hack to gaming the LinkedIn newsfeed algorithm.
I knew live engagement mattered yet again, I’d lost perspective.
During work meetings, I’d check on the latest comments.
While on the phone to loved ones I’d check the comments.
While on the toilet I’d check the comments (okay probably too much information).
The challenge with all social media is that the more success you have in the form of engagement, the more addicted to the attention you become. The viral post I wrote on LinkedIn was part of that.
Video came next.
If the written blog post attention I was getting was not enough already, then LinkedIn introduced video. This sent my brain into a frenzy. I’d learned from Facebook that new features like video were rewarded by social platforms in the form of showing your content to more users.
This made me quickly figure out how to start posting video on LinkedIn. The trouble was that I had to find content that mattered to me and that took hours. I also became addicted to watching other people’s LinkedIn video’s for ideas, and again, I felt something was not quite right.
Instead of creating content, I had become a consumer all over again. My addiction grew further too.
Influencers then started rejoining LinkedIn.
Yes, for those that didn’t know, many people had forgotten about LinkedIn until many began rejoining or using their accounts again this year. Why? They came back wanting the free organic reach that their content would be given on LinkedIn.
I’d begun to crave this same organic reach because no other social media platform was giving me this drug I wanted so badly.
I spent days and nights reading the posts of these LinkedIn influencers and learning what they did. I’d become lost and had forgotten why I joined LinkedIn in the first place.
What was I doing trying to get all this stupid attention?
I all of a sudden woke up from this nightmare.
Learning about stoicism and becoming more aware made me wake up from this nightmare. I reflected on what I was doing and started going back to my why.
I went on LinkedIn to inspire the world through entrepreneurship and personal development. I did not join LinkedIn to become an influencer, rack up meaningless stats or build a personal brand.
The game that is social media nearly dragged me in headfirst.
What’s the answer? How do we not become addicted?
What worked for me was focusing on purpose and inspiring others. You can have all the engagement, fans and numbers of shares in the world but without a decent why, you become lost.
Digital addiction is taking over and we must fight back!
By no means am I saying social media or LinkedIn is bad: what I’m saying is that you need to know why you’re on it and keep it under control.
You need to timebox your social media participation. If you can’t control your social media usage, then try quitting for a while.
There’s more to life than social media and instant gratification.
Becoming a beautiful human being and having real-world interactions should be the goal. I feel gullible in a way because yet again, I let social media distract me.
Well, not anymore ladies and gentlemen. I’m sticking to what Jon Westenberg said on Medium.com. I’m focusing on the long road. I’m never going to give up on my dream and I’m going to keep doing what I do regardless of social media metrics.
I’m going to choose my goal in life above all else. That’s what I have to give to the world.
I want the same for you.