Let’s be honest, people lie on LinkedIn.

If you want to be popular in life, just tell people what they want to hear. People love to be told they are right and smart, and you agree with them. No one appreciates anyone playing devil’s advocate, or sharing publically an opposing view.

It is the easiest thing for people to lie. They lie in big and small ways. One time a popular post said that if you had any questions you could send a private message and that person would respond. I took it seriously and send a private message. I didn’t get a response. It is clear that that person didn’t mean what he said. In a larger sense, however, people say what they know is untrue just to be provocative and get views and responses.

Social media rewards people who like to stir things up. It hides people who are thoughtful and who try to have insight and look at things in a more reasoned way. It rewards the emotional response and punishes a thoughtful one. In this way, we see what is rewarded increase. People act in ways that they think are helpful, and when we tell people that stirring things up is helpful we do a disservice to everyone.

We know that 99% of LinkedIn is BS. We want to be entertained and we want the circus and drama that we are right and others are wrong. We want to be in those echo chambers where we are praised and told how smart we are. When I have had serious discussions in private DMs with people, 99% of them are only in that discussion to prove how right they are. I am not saying that I am right, I often have said that I change my mind later. Yet the most stubbornly “right” people are the most unwilling to consider new ideas and information.

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Acting confident and ignorant is easy. We see people do that all the time. Acting with wisdom and reasonable doubts is work, and it must be the reason that so few people do it.