Quitting the LinkedIn Habit

The following rant may feel a bit incoherent. I haven’t put the full gears of literature in motion for quite some time, so please have mercy. Keep in mind when you’re reading that I am not a perfect person. I don’t wish to come across as snobbish, pretentious, or arrogant. I can only live according to the values deep within my heart, that inner compass that guides me as a human being. While this narrative is merely a crumb of truth and self-reflection, it is not meant to influence or judge others. My perspective is based on my own perception of freedom – for better or worse. How I choose to express my world views is deeply personal. No government, social media entity, or political think tank will ever determine, manipulate, or subjugate my feelings or beliefs. I walk alone in freedom, yet I can now breathe with a crystal-clear conscience…

There comes a point where you can only stand so much noise. Beyond your saturation point, you can only tolerate so much as the decibels increase louder and louder. Every voice must be heard. Every opinion must be shared. Every wink of kindness must be validated… That’s right, we are talking about social media, the vast wasteland of human behavior, a muddy farm where every cow is brought home to pasture in order to work out their differences. Personally, I liken it to a shopping mall full of zombies, each soul mindlessly bouncing off walls as their endless hunger for inclusion drives them deeper into despair.

Before I dive headlong into this jaded ramble, let me start by saying that I recently closed my one and only social media account. For several years, LinkedIn was the primary platform I used to develop content. I had long since abandoned Facebook in 2012, then attempted a brief run on Instagram before discovering the juvenile nature of that platform in 2019. As a creative professional, using social media was the fastest way to gain traction on my content.

Whether I was promoting artist interviews, writing kickass articles, or presenting eclectic artwork, everything went out on the wire.

An idea would spark, I would beg the heavens for wisdom, then I would post that content for the hungry masses.

What followed was a steady stream of feedback and logical discourse based on the vibrant hunks of cheese placed neatly on a trap. That’s right. I am saying it… Content is nothing more than cheese placed on a spring-loaded trap. It is a clever way to trigger discussions among mice. In many instances, it is also used to open a nasty can of worms. That’s not to say I was diabolical. I always posted with integrity. My heart was usually in the right place and I made every effort to respect my audience. However, once I realized the only ones who would benefit from these timely events were the almighty tech giants, my interest level dissipated.

Division and hatred? Suck it up cowboy, you’re going to get dirty on this playground.

Regardless of what I believed about the world, about reality, about business or love, or any other consumable topic… the greedy tech giants alone were going to benefit from our traffic. Win, lose, or draw, the parasites were going to feast. It was futile to believe that they cared about anything beyond traffic, clicks, or revenue. They don’t care if you’re starving in India without employment or hope. They don’t care if your self-published book drops to the bottom of a deep, dark well. They don’t even care if you’re being harassed, trolled, or scammed by bitcoin predators… Just use their damn product and generate traffic. Division and hatred? Suck it up cowboy, you’re going to get dirty on this playground. Racism and politics are the algorithm’s best friend. Keep on clicking and falling for the stupidity of open debates with strangers – nobody wins except the hipster nerds of Silicon Valley.

Despite our best initiative to place our fingerprint on the world mirror, the tech giants will always reap the rewards of our blood, sweat, and tears. They will suck the marrow out of your content and trick you into believing that some pot of gold exists at the end of the rainbow. It’s bullshit. Welcome to the shopping mall of humanity, a pyramid scheme cloaked in kindness and compassion, a way to attract flies based on confirmation bias and virtue signaling. The psychology of this relationship was both stunning and dynamic, yet I continued to participate… And yes, even I would indulge in the occasional debauchery of keyboard combat. As stated, I am no perfect being…

Every article. Every post. Every water-soluble scrap of content. It was all an illusion to make us feel accepted, to integrate us into their global think tank. At the end of the day, none of it mattered.

Our thoughts were no longer our own. Our truths were subject to scrutiny and our identities were stripped down to the bone… And for what purpose? Inclusion? Unity? Compassion? Hardly any of it was genuine. Social media is nothing less than a dog-and-pony show for people who are depressed, lonely or scared. Yes, this is a general statement that does not represent every participant, but spend any amount of time and you will witness the obvious.

For me, using LinkedIn was an effort to establish credibility. I believed there was a greater opportunity waiting, a new career door that would open based on the importance of candor. Sadly, I was only fooling myself. The gravity of my words was about as useful as a fart in a hurricane. My goals were submerged in a confusing pond of expectation and branding. Countless hours were dedicated to the pursuit of nothingness. Although no one forced a gun to my head or demanded that I post trivial content, I came to realize the only way to stand out was to step aside – to pull the plug and watch several years of hard work and energy slip away. It was a notion I had struggled with for quite some time, but eventually, the tipping point arrived.

Yup. The 2020 elections occurred in America… sort of… and with it came a great flood of toxic, vile behavior from countless experts and professionals, many of whom ironically used compassion as their measuring stick. What followed was a collective wave of nausea unleashed in torrents of political discord. Regardless of who a person voted for, the very worst tendencies of the human condition were on full shameful display. While it’s certainly honorable to be passionate about government, elite professionals from all walks of life used the platform to smear crap all over their rivals. That’s right – red and blue feces tossed like festering grenades of ignorance, each professing to know the bitter truth about scumbag candidate A or B.

Shut up, vote, and post your self-righteous brand of intolerance on social media.

Guess what folks: neither candidate gives a damn about your loyalty. Just shut up and vote. That’s all they care about – your tax dollars and your bloody ballot. That is the prevailing mentality in 2020 – far and above a global pandemic. Shut up, vote, and post your self-righteous brand of intolerance on social media. What a waste. My brain cells deserve better. Needless to say, I had enough. I no longer fit in with that ugly puzzle, nor did I want to remain a part of that cheap flea circus reeking of Facebook cologne. I’d rather use that time productively, to focus on my own projects and ideas, to spend time with family, to watch my son grow up healthy and strong. I’d rather have five honest visitors to my crappy website than swim in a lake full of phony sharks.

And that’s just it folks. After all these years of being told to stand for something… I finally did. I took my cards off the table. I took my opinions home. I decided to walk away from the algorithms, the censorship, the globalist agenda, the suppression of free speech… I walked away from the most ignorant game of conditioning ever played with human emotions. I hope my silence speaks louder than words, but I’m not holding my breath. I was never in search of platitudes. I was searching for a genuine audience, yet somehow I got lost on my journey. The more these tech giants turn up the volume, the more intelligent people will start tuning out. Of one thing I am now certain – I am much happier without the noise. I regret nothing.

May you all have a blessed and graceful holiday season…

NOTE: One of the bright spots during my time on LinkedIn was being invited to write for BizCatalyst-360°, an independent, non-partisan publisher which does not enforce any particular agenda. I am confident that I will now have a proper place to share my miserable world views. I hope you are all fair and balanced as we take these first few steps forward together…

Aaron Towle
Aaron Towlehttp://www.repdigest.com/
Aaron Towle is a Multimedia Artist living in Green Cove Springs, FL. He proudly served in the military as a journalist and now works as a developer in the Defense Contracting Industry. He is passionate about art, literature, and photography and looks to continue building his credentials as a professional writer. He currently produces an online publication called Reprehensible Digest, which explores the subtle dynamics between art and literature.


  1. Aaron, useful reflection! Used to be, 150 people was about all one person could “digest” connecting with. Then technology went warp speed into global audiences. And that means lots of catching up for how to connect with real people. Because new technology just multiplies how fast things happen . . . too quickly to “digest” for any one person.

    I agree with you on BizCatalyst! Wonderful. I’m grateful to have published my first article here.


    • Thank you for the feedback Cynthia. Yes, the technology has gone into warp speed. We haven’t even begun to consider where this will all lead us as a society or where the technology will be in five more years, let alone tomorrow. As wonderful as technology can be, consumers never really slow down to consider the implications… What is this doing to our culture, to our minds, to our spirits? I needed to dump LinkedIn as it was becoming yet another Facebook arena. I began to witness more negativity than good, it was time to move on… Let’s hope Dennis can maintain this more organic, independent flavor. This is a much more reasonable and fair network here and there is no feeling of obligation to deliver content. You simply contribute whenever the mood strikes… 😊

  2. What a rant, Aaron! I have similar feelings about LinkedIn. But I was always very realistic about social media and never had any expectations except to spend some pleasant time engaging with my online friends.
    LinkedIn is the first social media I joined in 2013. In the beginning, I enjoyed sharing and creating short posts about civil engineering and architecture, which gained a lot of traction. But after a while, I reached a saturation point and started to consider social media a huge distraction. Fortunately, I don’t use LinkedIn to find a job, sell anything and never used any social media for my job.
    A genuine audience you talk about I found on beBee social media platform I joined four years ago. Hoping to find such an audience on Bizcatalyst too.
    It is possible to live happily without social media and find many offline alternatives. I see many people on LinkedIn whose lives revolve entirely around social media. It seems they practically live on the platform.
    Enjoy your time without social media, Aaron. I hope to see more of your articles here.

    • Thank you for taking the time Lada, it seems we had a very similar experience – using the platform to share content we enjoyed, only to get burned out by it. I really enjoyed the people, but there was far too much negativity… the worst of it was political in nature. I have opinions and beliefs that I try to contain out of respect for others, but it wasn’t always possible or reciprocal. It was also consuming far too much of my time and in some instances, people were crossing the lines of privacy. They would reach out via DM and start asking me very personal questions. I started feeling uncomfortable and aggravated… and when the elections brought out the ugliest parts of humanity, I decided to shut it down. I will definitely continue writing here on BC-360. It’s much safer and more respectful… and maybe I’ll look into beBee at some point. On that note, I hope you have a lovely holiday season. I’m sure we will have many interesting discussions here over a wide range of topics. Until next time my friend…

  3. Aaron, I held my breath while reading this because I get it. I GET IT. I feel more pressure now, scurrying around and trying to be “heard” on my various platforms—with the exception of this one—then I ever did when I was actually employed. There are days when U dong know what I’m doing or why I’m doing it. Yet, I keep on. I’ve given up my dream of becoming a working screenwriter in an attempt to try and stay “relevant” on those platforms and I am mentally and emotionally exhausted, without any real focus. I know that I have to get back to “me,” somehow. I’ve met a ton of nice, supportive people, which I’m grateful for, but again, I’m not a kid and need to do what’s right for me. Now, all I have to do is figure out how. I wish only the best and would love it if you could shoot me an email so we can talk, further. [email protected]. Meanwhile, I wish you and everyone here a happy, healthy Thanksgiving.

    • Nice to hear from you Sherry, and perhaps here is a better place to exchange ideas and theories. I understand what you say about the pressure to keep up and stay relevant – that is part of the problem. One thing I learned is that an audience becomes complacent. The more you produce – especially online – the less interest or impact your words will have. Readers have a short attention span. If they’re not hooked inside of three seconds, they will find something else to stimulate their neurons. Here’s how I see it… After a few good chops, readers begin to dismiss the impact of your presence. They regard you as a permanent light fixture flickering on and off in the corner. The only shock value remaining is when you pull the plug on your account. Just remember – overexposure leads to under-appreciation. I quite LinkedIn for many reasons, some of which are personal. Wherever I choose to fly my kite next, I may do it slowly and with less expectation. I can only suggest that you keep writing, if for no other reason to vaporize the tension of your situation. I know how you feel. At a certain point you start to question your purpose… “What’s the point. No one is listening.” Perhaps there is some truth to that. This generation is a different animal. It is challenging to understand how we fit in, how we stay relevant. The first and only thing we should do is stop expecting them to welcome us in. So write only about what interests you and appreciate the few spectators who genuinely appreciate your words. If the rest fail to identify… they can suck eggs. Hope you have a lovely Thanksgiving as well, will definitely catch up soon. 🙏

  4. Aaron as a relative newbie to Bizcatalyst 360 this is the first of your posts that I have read. I love the way that you express how you feel it’s incredibly powerful and you raise some great points.

    We all have addictions and distractions to avoid facing whatever is staring us in the face and for sure LinkedIn can be part of that. I recently took the decision to stop tagging people in posts. Going cold turkey was tough and yet it feels refreshing because I realise that I am not adding to the confusion and the noise which can happen with tagging – another way of saying look at me. Sublimation of the ego is the key in all this for me and that’s a tough gig for us all because we are both human and divine.

    I have discontinued my presence on virtually every other social media platform for the reasons you state but I will continue to post on LinkedIN as I have made some wonderful connections and overall when i weigh it up the balance is positive. I wish you all the best with this next phase and look forward to reading more from you through Dennis. Thanks for taking a stand – all that is asked of us is to become who we were born to be rather than falling into who we were taught to be!

    • What a wonderful comment Kate, thank you for taking the time to read. I should note that my time on LinkedIn was not all bad. Like you said, there were many wonderful people and I made great friends. I wouldn’t have the opportunity to share here on BC-360 had I not met Dennis Pitocco. Part of the issue, which I’ll probably present at a later time, was my own tendency to do too much. I presented art, interviews, photography and engaged in many interesting discussions. I had quite an interesting journey and – under the right circumstances – social media can actually be a fun experience. Unfortunately I noticed a downward trend in boldness and toxic behavior. I witnessed far too much content that was hostile, disturbing and abusive. For my own good, it was time to disconnect and reconsider my goals. It’s been three weeks and I don’t really miss it. I miss some of the good people, but not the other riff-raff. Anyway, hope we can enjoy some interesting articles here together in the future. I have never had a bad experience on this platform. The word professional still means something here, and I attribute that to Dennis. Take care and have a lovely holiday…

  5. Wow Aaron. You said it so perfectly, I think, what we all feel from time to time about this platform, (LI). Bizcatalyst is one reason I will stay on this platform. It is as you said, so well thought out, so fair, and unpretentious… very few platforms offer such openness and genuine care for humanity at the same time. I know I would be making a huge mistake to leave it. I hope you keep sharing here too. Wise decision as your voice and writing are needed.
    I keep coming back to LI maybe for the shot of dopamine but more for the handful of individuals I’ve met here who I love to see what they are doing. I like to encourage people and this is my only social media too. I learn things on this platform about art, technology, and publishing through people and personal contact I would miss out on otherwise.
    Great article Aaron!

    • Great to hear from you Laurie, and glad we can carry on our friendship here at BC. I guess the dopamine shots were no longer working for me. Like you, I kept coming back even after moments of frustration, but the U.S. elections really gave me all the incentive I needed to close that door. Perhaps I’ll try again some time, but it was just a bit too overwhelming. I decided quickly and feel much better since I deleted my account. I feel badly for all the artists who enjoyed the interview series. I hope to find a new outlet to continue that venture… I just couldn’t do it there anymore. LinkedIn will survive without me questioning their methods. I hope they improve and once again make it a respectable platform. I simply felt like it was turning into Facebook. The decision was easy, but I do miss the interesting discussions with friends, yourself included. Just remember that everything you say has meaning and value. If they choose to drown you out in favor of toxic memes and ignorance, you can always leave. I’m sure Dennis would love to have your voice right here full time where your opinions and experience are treated with respect… Kindest blessings dear friend, nice to be sharing the same universe again. 🙏

  6. Powerful writing Aaron and no doubt, like with me, you have spoken directly to many’s fears and unintended consequences of active social media use. I cancelled my Twitter account and FB accounts 2 years ago only to come back on and honestly, I could switch them off again but do lik the 12 months later pics on FB!

    I share much of your frustration about LinkedIn, yet I hold onto some hope that with less emotional and time investment in the platform, it becomes moire joyous, TBC!

    Enjoy your family time and see you around.

    • Thank you Garry. I never say never anymore. I think LinkedIn, Facebook and many other platforms need to find ways to clean up their act before I would consider returning. I am against censorship, but I’m also against ignorance and hostility. The filters in place are not effective, and until they have a more efficient way of policing their participants for proper conduct, they will continue to have issues with quality professional content and behavior. I suppose that’s the playing field for a free service. It’s certainly not perfect…. Anyway, you also have a great holiday my friend. Be safe… 🙏

  7. Aaron, this is such a powerful piece. I’ve come so very close myself to pulling the plug as well. Every single thing you’ve written here is pure truth, and I could add a few infuriating things of my own.

    And yet, I’ve experienced so much that’s good at LI too. I’m going to write that up and publish it here – not by any means as a rebuttal (because it’s certainly not a rebuttal when you agree 100% with what the person you’re responding to has written!), but hopefully to prompt some further discussion of whether the platform is worth it or not. Because for me, the jury is still out.

    Thanks so much for expressing your thoughts here. They’ve certainly added to my thinking.

    • Great hearing from you Jim, I appreciate your thoughtful comments. By no means am I suggesting anyone else do the same. I must be fair, there were many good things about LinkedIn… namely many of the nice people I met. Unfortunately all the other typical Facebook stuff is what ultimately drove me out. Enough was enough. Please let me know when your article hits, I’d love to read it and compare notes on our social media experiences. Best wishes, have a great and safe holiday. 🙏

  8. Holy smokes, dearest Aaron!!! 🤩 There is a reason why you were mentioned in my last piece… I love so many fellow writers work on this mothership we call BizCatalyst, but I’ve always found there was something very special about you.

    The very first time I read you (it was a LinkedIn article shared by our common friend Laurie Hill, I believe) before being aware you were also part of this family, I told myself: goodness, what a voice! What a phenomenal mixture between truth-telling, humility, courage, empathy, and vulnerability!

    I was transfixed and you didn’t fail me when we exchanged some private messages, neither! How come? Because of your beautiful “consistency”! I got so disappointed and pissed off of many people because of the clear phase-shift between their impressive work and the way they show up in life. It means one thing to me: lack of integrity, that is the foundation of building trust.

    When it comes to your feelings toward social media, I so understand and admire your decision. I could probably follow your lead at some point! When Kimberly wrote that wonderful article about the notifications overwhelm, that Dennis listened to her pain and that we were given the choice to be tagged or not, it was such a relief for me and I couldn’t thank them enough! Having my will power back and choosing to promote what I judge deserving of being celebrated was a big deal for me!

    Interestingly, it was not enough. I need to admit I’ve been investing too much time creating content and engaging on LinkedIn for a year and a half without any agenda (I never ever closed any deal from the platform). As much as I loved building some of the healthiest relationships of my whole existence, there was a time when I reached my limit and took some vacation to heal and find some balance!

    The universe decided otherwise and instead of taking care of myself, I went through some of the harshest times of my life (even harsher than when I was abused by the malignant narcissist; I’m just way stronger today luckily!). When I came back, I was still struggling with so much frustration and disgust. I was in pain, but somehow couldn’t help but come back to my “habitual” engagement…

    I need to admit that noticing my words could inspire or support or trigger anyone self-awareness is beyond being fulfilling to me and has played a role in keeping me grounded despite the chaos I was managing. But, then I decided I needed to take control of my habit and that the notifications were making me their slave.

    Result: I am not checking my notifications anymore and check the content directly, either the one I share or my engagements. I’m sure I’m missing tons of interesting stuff, but that was the price I decided to pay! And if some people could get offended from it, then it might be a great test of our relationship!

    Thanks for this masterpiece, dear Aaron, and enjoy your freedom! 🌞💎🧚‍♀️

    • Wonderful to hear from you Myriam, and my apologies for not saying a proper goodbye (on LinkedIn). I made my decision quickly and did not look back. It was nothing personal against any one person, I just felt overwhelmed with the overall magnitude of responsibility. Truth be told, I couldn’t always keep up with every connection, nor could I tolerate some of the unprofessional content routinely featured. That’s not to say my content was any better, but I just didn’t have the energy to tolerate the hatred or nonsense. I truly loved promoting the artists, so if anyone should be upset or disappointed, it is them. I feel like I let them down…

      Aside from that, I totally get you about the notifications and expectation to deliver. After a while, being a truth-teller has consequences. It almost feels like there is an obligation to be more wise, more level, more grounded. That’s the myth… we are just as frail and sensitive as any other beings on the platform. We bleed the same, cry the same, get angry the same… That’s what makes us human and that is what the algorithm will never fully comprehend or calculate. So there it is… We both still exist here on BC, and I look forward to many more enlightening discussions right here. You have a safe and pleasant holiday. Take things easy and enjoy every single breath… Kindest blessings dear friend. 🙏

  9. Where do I begin Aaron? First of all, thank you for your exquisitely written piece that emits passion, honesty, and clarity. I always love reading your articles full of gorgeous prose and amazing similes and metaphors.

    I too have struggled with the social media phenomena. I see the hate and sarcasm which I avert as much as possible I am on social media for one reason and that is promoting my work. Right now, I have a Facebook group for people 45 plus who wish to celebrate every chapter in their lives. I use my group to promote the well being of everyone going forward and to elevate their successes in whatever form that is. Eventually, I will be doing a more evolved membership but not until next year. To make this too-long story short, I will continue to assess my presence on social media. I appreciate this cogent piece. You have given many of us fuel for thought.

    • Thank you for your kind words Darlene. It’s so sad how we absolutely must have and use social media to promote our work. With all the technology in the world, it seems this is the only way to garner any positive traction. The fact is, boiled down to its core purpose, social media COULD be a wonderful device… it’s all the other riff-raff that we have to wade through to make forward progress. I recommend you stay the course, at least as long as you can tolerate the other stuff. I quit for many personal reasons, these presented here were the surface issues. Aside from all this, it was great hearing from you. I hope your holidays are filled with warmth and cheer. Looking forward to our next interesting discussion my friend. Kindest blessings. 🙏

  10. Wow. You needn’t have apologized for anything in this ruthlessly insightful and incisive post, Aaron. You hit every nail squarely on the head, as evidenced by this distillation: “Racism and politics are the algorithm’s best friend … nobody wins except the hipster nerds of Silicon Valley … They will suck the marrow out of your content and trick you into believing that some pot of gold exists at the end of the rainbow.”

    Anyone who doubts the truth of those 45 words hasn’t seen this: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pOdrPruSnrw

    All of us on social media are like just so many addicted gamblers, coming to the crooked card game: Every player knows the deck is stacked. But it’s the only game in town.

    Thank you for your inspirational bravery my friend. I will concede credit to LinkedIn for connecting us. For that, I’m abidingly grateful.

    • Thanks for the message Mark, and I agree about the LinkedIn factor, otherwise we would not likely be having these interesting discussions. I’ll even go so far as to say that LinkedIn isn’t as bad with their subversive practices, but they aren’t getting any better either. I’d be curious to see how bold they become with suppression of free speech over the next four years (wink-wink). As for the video, watching Zuck squirm and babble in lawyer speak just makes me cringe. He founded FB in less-than-ethical ways, and continues to attract the attention of Washington. Eventually he’s going to make a big mistake. But again… the next four years will be very interesting in the world of data harvesting and manipulation. Good thing these tech giants know how to implement the big tobacco model so well… hook ‘em on the algorithm while they’re young and impressionable… then toss them aside when their brains are mush. Anyway, hope you have a great Thanksgiving my friend, I’m sure we will have many more interesting discussions on this very topic right here at BC. Be well… 🙏

  11. Thank you Laura. I feel badly as we had only just started to get to know each other as writers via LinkedIn. The good news is that Dennis runs a much more honest and grounded platform. I’m sure we will still have plenty of interesting topics to discuss here. I simply needed to cut ties with big tech. That’s not to say I won’t give other venues a shot in the future, but for now I am happy with the blank canvas before me… Wishing you a most pleasant holiday, enjoy time with your loved ones… 🙏

  12. Appreciate your kind words within, Aaaron. Without question, it has been and will continue to be your courage, candor, and authenticity that distinguishes your writing. Powerful messages delivered with honesty and vulnerability. Trust that you will always have a seat at our table, my friend.

    • Truly appreciate the sentiment Dennis, and grateful for the continued opportunity to write for BC. I know many will not understand or like my opinions on big tech, but I can only tolerate so much manipulation. I hope others wake up and start sending a clear message about their tampering with free speech… Best wishes to you and yours. Enjoy your holiday my friend. 🙏

    • Thank you for your kind words Kimberly. In many ways I feel bad for certain aspects of social media. It could be a wonderful tool, but like many great things, it is manipulated in strange, unfavorable ways. I will still be present here on BC-360. I see a much brighter future in independent platforms like this. I may have said goodbye to LinkedIn, but that only means hello here… the start of a new beginning… Best wishes, have a lovely holiday my friend. 🙏

    • Thank you Laura. I feel badly as we had only just started to get to know each other as writers via LinkedIn. The good news is that Dennis runs a much more honest and grounded platform. I’m sure we will still have plenty of interesting topics to discuss here. I simply needed to cut ties with big tech. That’s not to say I won’t give other venues a shot in the future, but for now I am happy with the blank canvas before me… Wishing you a most pleasant holiday, enjoy time with your loved ones… 🙏