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LinkedIn Depression. Is it a Thing?


INFLUENCER: Affixxius' Tim Cabrelli on harnessing negative feelings and turning them into creative fuel

LinkedIn Depression. Is it a Thing?

It goes without saying that social media can massively impact your mental health, and there’s no doubt that Facebook, Twitter and Instagram can certainly hog the headlines when it comes to the platforms that affect a person’s mood. However, in the last few years I’ve increasingly found my state of mind can be completely altered – often for the worse - by reading a post on LinkedIn. I should add that I currently am, and have been in the past, treated for problems with my mental health, so identifying triggers that can impact this is something that has become almost second nature to me now. Still, it’s amazing the impact it can have on your productivity and your work in general. 

I am the co-owner of an agency that doesn’t sit at the bottom of the production ‘food chain’, but equally we are not at the top – yet. This means that I see a lot of work, on a daily basis, that I either wish we had made or a piece of film made so badly that I know we could have done better. I also see work that I wish I had known needed to be made, so we could have put forward our idea that I feel would have been stronger. Even more painfully I see a piece of content that we pitched for, didn’t win, and have to watch what ‘beat’ us (which rarely I agree was better).

All in all, I find it can be very difficult to see the positives in what other people are doing within our industry sometimes, and find that LinkedIn can be a giant ‘amplifier’ for what I feel I (personally), and/or where my business, is going wrong. I used to think I was alone with these thoughts; I rarely shared them until one day somebody else I know (who, too, runs an agency) got angry in front of me. When I asked what was wrong, they replied with “I’ve just seen something on LinkedIn and it’s utterly ruined my day”…

At this point there is, of course, an easy solution to the problem, just deactivate the account and move on with your life.  But, as we all know, social media can be a bit like a drug - and doing what I do for a living I can’t really avoid the power of what LinkedIn can do for our presence. It is a vital tool to help get our work out to a wider audience than you can normally achieve by any other means. I appreciate some reading this may hardly ever use their LinkedIn account or may not even have one, let alone log onto it everyday, I’m going to assume that’s because either your role means you don’t have to connect with new people regularly or you’re so much further up the production company food chain you don’t need to network and your phone just rings or your email just pings…lucky you.

Prior to seeking help for my mental health, I’d just accept the mood and the impact it would have on my productivity and wake the next day and go again. Needless to say, this isn’t exactly healthy, so now I look at how I use it. I’ve always been a very competitive person and up until having a family played a multitude of sports, but now am a lot more resigned to watching than playing. When playing sport, it’s sometimes good to get angry (not in a Roy Keane kind of way) but more in a focussed, competitive nature (more akin to Patrick Vieira) and essentially use that anger as a driver to be better today than you were the day before. Don’t get me wrong I still see work that I consider to be ‘creatively lazy’ or clearly had a load of budget spent on it (pointlessly) but I now use this fuel to drive my company to the next level and challenge the people and the work I see on LinkedIn to show we can do better. 

I doubt my LinkedIn Depression will ever go away but at least for now I’m trying use it as a force for good, not just for my company but hopefully for our industry.

Tim Cabrelli is senior partner at Affixxius

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Affixxius, Sun, 10 May 2020 10:12:57 GMT