Saturday, December 24, 2011
have been thinking about a lot of ideas this week in a kind of ephemeral haze. I am stalled in my career. My attempts to find employment are still met with resistance.
What is, is written in the cosmos for reasons unknown to me. As a result, I came to decide that my best career move at the moment is to focus on this one space: my blog.
Here's the premise:
This is a space where potential employers can test my mettle as a writer: Am I good enough?
And this is a space where I can build a following.
Still, it is clear that to be anyone today, you have to be here, there, and everywhere. A blog isn't enough. eMail isn't enough. One blog and eMail is equivalent to having no presence on the World Wide Web. You'll have barely left a footprint. How do I know this? Potential employers have been asking me about my social media qualifications:
1) How many friends on Facebook?
This question forced me to assess my Facebook habits. I have tried to keep Facebook honest. I didn't want to make friends for business' sake. I have LinkedIn for that.
But today's employer expects you to exploit all social media for his/her benefit. That means that numbers count.
It also forces you to decide on your perspective--what do you deem a prudent career move and what borders on performing immoral acts? Do I agree to exploiting the numbers in this equation? Do I rack up friends to drive the numbers up without giving a damn about them? Do I friend famous or successful people, hoping that our friendship somehow leverages me to a different stratum of the social sphere?
But if they see you and still say nothing. Or they live far away but you see they wish everyone else in your old crowd Happy Birthday except for you.
Maybe you had a warm, even BEAUTIFUL reunion, seasoned with the wisdom that comes with age. But one party sensed the other's antipathy over the decision to divorce a spouse, or asked for financial help after having no connection for 3 decades. Or perhaps you posted too many youtube clips. Or perhaps it's really your constant politicizing but the other must find a noncontroversial excuse to unfriend you that doesn't seem anti-Semitic so the person says that you post too many youtube clips.
And what of lurkers who comment on every single posting and make everything all about them? Personally, I would love to do an honest clean-up of my facebook list. Keeping friends who do not like you feels like RAPE and it's not much better when it's you who doesn't like THEM.
But the numbers. I'd go down to so few real friends. Okay, not by that many, I'm exaggerating. But I'm thinking one-third would stay by my side, given a choice. Can I afford to be honest at the expense of doing what needs to be done to help me pay my bills?
Here is what I have considered then: Perhaps I will tell people that I will unfriend anyone who doesn't wish me happy birthday on the date Facebook tells them is my birthday (As an aside: I celebrate my birthday according to the changeable lunar calendar, for religious reasons. My lunar birthday is ט"ו סיון or the 15th of Sivan.)
At that point, if you wish to continue to be my friend, so this line of thought goes, you will have to send me a new friend request. If you have unsubscribed from my feed, then you likely will not receive notice that this blog entry has been posted. I post my blog entries from here, Twitter, linkedIn, Facebook, and Google+.
When I write something new, it is out here in the blogosphere. So, shall I adopt this policy? If you don't wish me happy birthday, you're gone and the numbers be damned? I feel I need to have some scruples, you see.
So maybe I shouldn't do that. What do you think? Should I keep the numbers and let two-thirds of my friends just be numbers? Is my career more important than calling nonfriends, "friends?"
To be continued.