In the weeks that followed the 2020 election and the ensuing chaos, my wife turned to me and asked why I seemed so relaxed. After bringing me up to speed on all the hysteria online, I told her that the only thing that changed was that my Facebook phone app quit working about a month earlier and I hadn’t visited since.


That must have been it and it taught me an important and unfortunate lesson about social media. As usual, what was likely invented for the good of society has turned into a cease pool and the absence of that toxic environment made me happier and healthier.

I’ve rarely been on Facebook since, but I do frequent LinkedIn. For the most part, the politics, chaos, and nonsense seem to be absent but recently I’ve noticed a troubling trend. I enjoy the site because there is some great information on leadership and I’ve made some great connections but as usual, there are two sides to that coin.

LinkedIn has become the modern day “love me” wall. If you are in law enforcement, you likely know what that means. Everyone has walked into a commander’s office or home and seen the wall dedicated to their accomplishments.

After all, we all need a place to hang that basic academy graduation certificate…

I don’t mind it much in the office setting but from a leadership standpoint, I’m not a fan of the display in public and if you visit social media, you will see it and you will see it a lot.

Whether it’s the chief bragging about his latest community engagement or the captain showing off his latest certificate, there’s something about it that rubs me wrong.

Many, including myself will use LinkedIn from time to time to promote a book or a class but I see that as product marketing and not self-promotion. What I am referring to is the “me” aspect of what I so often see.

It’s human nature to want others to see our accomplishments and we work in a profession where doing that is beat into us from early on in the career…hence the “love me” wall.

But I would like to issue a leadership challenge.

Consider using social media to make those around you important.

Give others the credit and that will do more for a leader than anything they could ever say about themselves.

Travis Yates is the author of “The Courageous Police Leader.” You can follow him on LinkedIn here