It has been a while, a long while, since the last posting. My last post was nearly a year ago, on January 31st. That is the longest that I have been away. I have not yet decided if my blogging days are over despite the consternation from close friends about putting your neck out there for what. As one of my favourite politicians likes to say "Where has it all gotten you?"
It's a lot easier to keep at something without seeing a return if you really enjoy it.
Life gets busy. Sometimes one has to pay a little more attention to things that pay the bills. Getting drawn into social media debates with folks who just want to banter without any substance is also a real energy drainer.
However, the fact is that you don’t have the right to speak freely. The combination of intense political polarization and the limited opportunities here equates to a hefty price tag for those of us who want to stir-up a discussion or advocate on issues. You might win over your friends—but those same opinions can also cost you a job. Political beliefs have cost me a few contracts and opportunities that have resulted in out of court settlements. I know that every utterance is on the public record from my early letters to the editor, the newsgroup chats, Twitter, ICQ, Messenger and of course my blog posts.
I recently read that 93% of hiring managers will review a candidate’s social profile before making a hiring decision. Over 50% of the time employers reconsider hiring after scanning your internet presence. Here is something else to consider, 66% of hiring managers hold poor spelling and grammar in social media against candidates. That thought just makes me cringe.
On the average day I have a routine of checking some of my favourite media outlets and blogs to get my daily fix of politics, opinions and interesting news of all sorts. The media play a central role in informing the public about what happens. With the advance of the alternative facts industry, the public is fed a daily menu of propaganda, particularly in areas they do not possess direct knowledge of experience. You see these stories parroted across Facebook all the time. The construction of public beliefs and attitudes are often shaped by so called "fake news."
Than there is my approach of trying to step outside the issue and look at it objectively or argue a side that I might not support in the hopes of generating a discussion or understanding opposite points of view. My aim is to foster public interest through presenting articles, perspectives and arguments in the hopes of focusing readers and informing public debate.
Outspokenness might embarrass decision makers to change course but it does not mean they forget who forced them to deviate from the their original plan. It all amounts to impeding your right to free expression.
The big change, I turned 50 last week and the question that taunts me is where has all this advocacy and standing on a soap box gotten me? The sand in the top half of the hour glass is diminishing, I am officially old! The question now is not if, but when? Growing old is a reality - I am not completely in control of my destiny. What I am in control of is how I feel about myself.
In addition to renewing and reconnecting, I am re-evaluating and examining. It is time to stop questioning myself and get on with what I want to do - experience and become.