Reflections on reflections

ADB-160415#183

160415 All-Day Breakfast—Reflections on reflections—#183
Between having a tooth extracted and looking for work, life has been more stressful than normal. And here I am with a very public art journal.
In the Age of Oversharing, how much is TMI and what is its bearing on prospective employment?

Let’s unpack that statement:

Tooth extracted

Tooth 4–7 (the right mandibular second molar) was cracked, crushed, drilled, and otherwise pulled from my jaw. It became a symbol of removing the rot from my life and career, and moving forward. You can read all about it in ADB issue #176 (if you’re not squeamish).

Looking for work

I built an entire publication called About Jason Theodor to promote my talents, find contract work, secure full-time employment, and otherwise keep the lights on.

Very public art journal

As of today (April 15th, 2016), All-Day Breakfast (ADB) viewership breaks down like this:

ADB Medium followers.………………..…. 664
ADB Pinterest followers…………………… 213
ADB Flipboard followers………………….. 93
ADB Facebook followers………………….. 17
ADB Tumblr followers…………………….. 1
Total ADB followers………….…………… 988

Add to that my own personal jted (Jason Theodor) audience:

Twitter followers……………………..…….. 4,255
Medium followers…………….……….…… 3,268
LinkedIn followers……………………...….. 1,146
Pinterest followers………………………….. 458
Tumblr followers………………….………… 295
Instagram followers………………………… 255
Flipboard followers…………………………. 155
Facebook followers…………………….…… 105
Vine followers……………………………….. 98
Snapchat followers………………………….. 30
Total jted followers………..….…………… 10,065

While 11K+ followers is peanuts to some, it’s still a sizeable audience to an obscure Austrian-Dutch Caucasian nerd from Southern Manitoba.

To think that people have collectively spent almost 29 hours reading my personal journal this month—roughly one hour a day—is incredible to me. And the more I publish, the more it trends upward. On Medium, I am adding about one-hundred followers per week, and this pace is slowly increasing.

How much is TMI (Too Much Information)?

So what do you say when the world is watching, even a tiny slice of it? I try not to think about it, to be honest. Even with this self-referential reflection piece, I just ask myself a few questions:

  1. Will this be a CLM (Career Limiting Move)?
    I won’t write about issues with specific clients, employers, or colleagues. I might talk about how I’m feeling, but I won’t connect all the dots. There are some things people don’t need to know. One time I sent a tweet comparing casinos to sad clowns. In the middle of the night I woke up in a cold sweat and deleted it—remembering that the western arm of my employer had a casino client. I’m constantly trying to balance the world of genuine, instant opinion giving, and the realities of client trust building.
  2. Will this get my family in any trouble, or me in trouble with my family?
    I always ask family members if I can post pictures of them, or talk about specific things they have done. This is called being polite, but sometimes it’s also about being safe. No one needs to know the name of my daughter’s school, or when my son has extracurriculars.
  3. Is this boring? Would I want to read it?
    This is the toughest filter. It’s hard to admit when you’re writing isn’t engaging. I don’t need to be riveting all the time, but I want to be relevant. I read each post/issue a few times over, often out loud, to make sure it maintains my interest. If my mind starts to wander, I will make edits.
  4. Am I being true to the moment?
    Write naturally. Or write from the heart. Or deliberately craft each word. Which ever it is, be consistent in the delivery. It’s a daily publication, so the mood is going to vary wildly. I try to capture those moods, those life moments, those changes. If I feel like writing a goofy poem, I will. If I feel like word play, I write wordplay. If I feel like making a list, I do it. It’s all about capturing the moment and trusting that it will be interesting.
  5. Does this make me feel uncomfortable?
    If I don’t feel somewhat nervous to hit publish, then I’m doing something wrong. Writing is an act of vulnerability and the only way to build up an immunity to fear is to do things you’re afraid of. I often worry about what people will think about what I say. Then I remember that I don’t have very many followers, so my troll ratio is still quite low. Better to make all my rookie mistakes now. ;-)

Prospective employment

I want an employer who understands and appreciates organic growth, social experimentation, and consistent content creation. If someone didn’t hire me because of All-Day Breakfast, then they’ll never understand me or the internet. So I’m not overly concerned. I’m learning how to write better, how to articulate a brand (my own), and the various nuances of specific platforms. All of these skills can be extended and applied to online marketing for brands and individuals alike.

Win-win.

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