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LinkedIn Encounter Pt. 1
When I entered college, it became a plain necessity to have a LinkedIn profile. Among the many many many things horribly wrong with this site, the worst one for me was that its a very slow, cluttered, unoptimised website with UX bad enough to have drowned Noah's Ark if those engineers made software on the vessel. (Thankfully we didn't have software engineers back then)
I pretty soon stopped logging into my LinkedIn, and focused more on GitHub.
I recently logged into my first Google account. This account was also the one signed up on Quora. I checked the inbox to see a flood of old Quora Digest emails. I briefly had a scrolling habit on my Quora feed during 2017.
Out of shallow nostalgia, I opened some emails, only to see that most answers started with an unrelated picture of a girl. At times the author's picture, but also quite often a random stock photo. Even if the author were a guy, he would put a random female picture in his post.
The new pattern - most answers started with a picture of a female body, shot precisely to garner thirsty attention.
Framing the answer was no longer the trick to get upvotes. The latest tool of trade is to exploit human lust.
Even though I'm probably never going to log into that Google account ever again, I unsubscribed from Quora simply because I can't digest a platfrom where its normalized to garner attention that way.
LinkedIn Encounter Pt. 2
When I was to start my internship recently, I made a post on LinkedIn, and during the summer used to occasionally log in to LinkedIn if I was extremely free in office.
There was a new wave of cringities with the website now. A lot of posts carried pictures of the author. The picture had no relation with the post whatsoever. The pictures were nearly always focused on the author who would be loaded with a perfect look and well dressed by modern standards.
But why should people need to look at that girl's face when the post is about system design?
Oh, to drive engagement.
I no longer complain about the horribly bugged site. Its more concerning to see the normalization of attracting engagement through cheaper means.
A person's value should be based on the quality of service they provide to customers. Not by how attractive they look.
Unless they are a model or actress or in any other profession which relies on phyical appearance in some measure, they probably aren't expected to use their bodies as a means to promote their trade. Software engineers should better return to flexing their real technical skills rather than shot - to - perfection pictures that only garner cheap engagement.
A major point of difference between the economy hundred years back and today is that back then people worked to fulfill their needs without constantly tring to find new income streams every fifth week.
However, now we are lot more active in exploiting available resources for personal gains (individual or company).
Every skill and tiny resource a person has is expected to be somehow used to bring in side income. You have 2 extra hours on your schedule per day? Quite commonly, someone will advise you to get into content creation to utilize that time and earn more.
Its a common pattern with capitalism - that resources should be used to bring in faster growth. This totally triumphs over any discussion about legitimacy.
And when a person has a great resource - their body - to increase their reach and earn, why should they not exploit it?
We wanted women to lead, not to derange us
Apart from those pictures being horribly out of context to the actual post, they also raise some other concerns.
The most notable is that its embedding the expectation to look a certain way or to dress up a certain way to a broader base. "Oh, she works at an IT company 9 hours a day, but her pics look so chill! I gotta figure out how." NO. All you need to figure out is how to be internally satsfied.
A more deeper concern is that the trend is shifting us on a different trajectory. A nation will be known for the contributions in research, science, art, etc and not by how many attention hungry invdividuals it produces. Regardless of whatever success those influencers built on cheap engagement get, they're not providing any real substance to empowering women.
Is the current trend promoting human development or is it promoting more people to enter the influencer drama, vying for cheap attention?
More to come
People have since always been posting thirst inducing pictures on Instagram or Tinder and such social media platforms. And thats fine. Those platforms don't have any better purpose in their existence.
On the contrary, LinkedIn was never meant to be bombarded with content that relies on body trade. Its relying on realities of society we usually hate when its in the news, but somehow gets legitimized when an influencer triggers it.
With all due respect for the women who are at a position to guide hundreds of thousands of people - they gotta do better.
Seeing normalization of this practice on Quora and LinkedIn, we're sure to see this phenomenon on more online platforms. There's certainly more to come.