"The Unconventional Paths of Highlighting Apps and the Cringe Culture of LinkedIn"


Hatched by Glasp

Sep 20, 2023

4 min read


"The Unconventional Paths of Highlighting Apps and the Cringe Culture of LinkedIn"

In today's digital age, social media platforms have become an integral part of our lives. They offer us various opportunities to learn, connect, and showcase our achievements. However, not all platforms are created equal. In this article, we will explore the unique paths of three highlighting apps and delve into the cringe culture that has engulfed LinkedIn.

Highlighting apps have gained popularity due to their ability to capture and curate online content. One such app is Glasp, which was launched in June 2021. Glasp functions as a free browser extension-based social web highlighter, allowing users to capture online content with colored highlighting options. These highlights are then automatically curated to the user's Glasp homepage. The platform also enables users to explore other content in the community based on topics or authors they follow, popular content, and through the search bar. Glasp serves as a social platform where users can share and discover highlights, creating a collaborative learning environment.

On the other hand, LinkedIn, a professional networking platform, has gained notoriety for its cringe-worthy content. Many users find LinkedIn to be creepy, and this can be attributed to several factors. Canadian sociologist Erving Goffman's concept of "The Presentation of Self in Every Day Life" sheds light on the phenomenon. Goffman suggests that individuals wear different masks, like actors in a theater play, to navigate through their daily lives. This idea resonates with LinkedIn, as users often feel the need to present an idealized version of themselves, leading to inauthentic and cringe-worthy content.

LinkedIn's revenue-generating model primarily revolves around talent solutions, premium subscriptions, and marketing solutions. The platform caters primarily to recruiters and HR departments, giving them a significant presence and influence. This power dynamic incentivizes humble bragging and the rise of faux gurus, commonly known as LinkedIn Influencers. These influencers often share motivational quotes taken out of context, aimed at keeping employees motivated.

Moreover, LinkedIn's focus on thought leadership publishing, featuring renowned figures such as Bill Gates and Richard Branson, has led to the emergence of "broetry." This term refers to a combination of bro and poetry, representing the shallow and self-promotional content dominating the platform. As a result, regular LinkedIn users find themselves buried in a feed filled with broems and celebrity thinkfluencers, struggling to have their voices heard.

The algorithmic preferences of LinkedIn contribute to the cringe culture as well. Dwell time, or the amount of time spent on a post, is a crucial factor in determining its visibility. Long-winded inspirational stories and humblebrags tend to perform well because they generate higher dwell time. Additionally, comments and replies are highly valued, leading to an abundance of ridiculous questions and empty agreements.

While some argue that LinkedIn is the only "good social network," many individuals, like myself, find it difficult to invest significant time in the platform. However, as responsible internet citizens, we should strive to reward quality content. Rather than succumbing to the cringe culture, we can support talented individuals who showcase their skills and creativity on LinkedIn.

To navigate the world of social media effectively, whether it be through highlighting apps or professional networking platforms, here are three actionable pieces of advice:

  • 1. Embrace authenticity: Instead of succumbing to the pressure of presenting an idealized version of yourself, embrace authenticity. Share your genuine experiences, insights, and accomplishments. This will help foster a more meaningful and relatable online presence.
  • 2. Engage critically: When consuming content on any social media platform, including highlighting apps and LinkedIn, engage critically. Question the motives behind the content, evaluate its credibility, and engage in meaningful discussions. By doing so, you contribute to a more constructive and authentic online community.
  • 3. Support quality content: Seek out and support content creators who offer valuable insights and thought-provoking ideas. Instead of mindlessly scrolling through shallow posts, actively engage with content that adds value to your personal and professional growth. By supporting quality content, we can collectively shift the narrative and encourage more meaningful interactions on social media.

In conclusion, highlighting apps like Glasp offer unique opportunities for collaborative learning, while LinkedIn's cringe culture presents challenges for users seeking genuine connections. By embracing authenticity, engaging critically, and supporting quality content, we can navigate the digital landscape more effectively and foster a more meaningful online community.

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