Unveiling the imposter syndrome epidemic in 2024 that Linkedin will cause


In an era dominated by professional networking and digital self-presentation, social media platforms have become both a boon and a bane for career-oriented individuals. A recent study conducted by the University of Edinburgh sheds light on a concerning aspect of the professional networking giant LinkedIn. 

 The Study

The study, believed to be the first of its kind, involved the assessment of 506 LinkedIn users, all educated to at least a bachelor’s degree level and with an average age of 36. The researchers focused on two aspects of LinkedIn usage: browsing other people’s posts and posting personal achievements. The findings revealed a significant association between both activities and imposter syndrome.

Browsing LinkedIn

Surprisingly, even the seemingly harmless act of scrolling through other people’s accomplishments on LinkedIn had a small but notable association with imposter syndrome. The comparison culture promoted by the platform seemed to trigger feelings of self-doubt among users, leading to a sense of inadequacy despite their own successes.

Posting Achievements

The more impactful revelation came from the act of self-promotion on LinkedIn. The study found a substantial association between posting personal achievements on the platform and imposter syndrome. Even after controlling for other potential influences, the link between self-expression and feelings of inadequacy persisted.

The Psychological Impact

Imposter syndrome, accompanied by the fear of being “found out,” can have profound psychological effects. The study indicates that these feelings are associated with anxiety and depressive thoughts. This sheds light on the darker side of professional social media, showing that it’s not merely a platform for networking and career growth but also a potential trigger for mental health issues.

LinkedIn’s Unwelcome Side Effect

With over 1 billion users worldwide, LinkedIn has become a staple for professionals seeking career opportunities, industry-related knowledge, and networking. However, the study suggests that alongside the positive aspects, LinkedIn carries an unwelcome side effect. The platform inadvertently becomes a breeding ground for imposter syndrome, negatively impacting users’ well-being.

Addressing Imposter Syndrome

The researchers argue that acknowledging the prevalence of imposter syndrome among professionals can be instrumental in developing support systems within organizations. Knowing that others share similar experiences might reduce the negative emotions associated with imposter syndrome. The study suggests that social media not only fosters comparison but also plays a role in individuals perceiving that others think more highly of them than they think of themselves.

As we navigate the professional landscape in the digital age, it’s crucial to recognize the potential downsides of popular networking platforms. Despite its undeniable benefits, LinkedIn has been implicated in triggering imposter syndrome. Understanding the psychological impact of social media is vital for both individuals and organizations to foster a healthier and more supportive professional environment in the years to come.


Study finds LinkedIn can trigger feelings of imposter syndrome 

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