Recently, I closed my Linkedin Account. I deleted everyone and eveything. I’ve actually done it before. Both times I had to cull my contacts down from the thousands to the hundreds. (It’s a Linkedin procedural kind of thing) Numerically at its peak, it was similar to my Word Press blog (https://practionerscholar.com) hovering somewhere around 6,300 followers, visitors and the full compliment of voyeurs. For Linkedin I would imagine this statistic falls into the paltry category. After all, Linkedin “Influencers” abound with audiences exceeding seven figures. Yet for me, my own scanty catalog was still too much. Why? Isn’t the more the merrier? Isn’t it about broadening one’s network in the pursuit of that first job, the perfect career opportunity or landing that next big client? Isn’t Linkedin that one stop shop mecca for career counseling, life coaching, financial advising and recruitment? Yes it is, but as I came to realize, I am not in need of any of it save one thing. For me it is a conduit, a method to stay in contact with people that I have met along the way. When I looked at my own list of followers I just barely recognized ten percent of them. The rest were just faces reminiscent of a collection of graduation pics in a college yearbook never to be seen again. If they were related through relevance of employment, education or academic acumen they were solicited for induction. As it turns out, this approach really served no purpose.
It is curious as to what goes through the mind after stepping off of the career train. I was of the notion that I would continue to teach, mentor, travel, climb Kilimanjaro and hike the Appalachian Trail. As time went on, I found that I had no intention to do anything related to my past work life including my avocation as a university instructor. The clientele has changed. I have changed. For many, seamingly well intended notions of public service are guised in a veil of egocentricity. Without the continuing link with my former day job or gathering with my fellow vassals at any one of my former professional associations, even mentoring held little importance to mentees if there was no direct link to potential employment. Superficial professional elbow rubbing fades quickly.
Interestingly enough, at least to me, my core interests have not changed. I’ve gone back to my undergraduate roots. I now teach political and cultural history. I am a facilitator of discourse in a room full of peers that actually want to be in the classroom. I am an armchair demographer and an advocate for civics education, alternative energy and the protection of the planets flora and fauna. Somehow, I will gather these interests into a coherent collection that helps me achieve that next goal, to be a creative non-fiction writer and author.
I am hoping that the connections that I maintain, through Linkedin and elsewhere, will provide some level of inspiration and certainly a level of appreciation for those that have contributed to my own wellbeing. I fully intend to be reciprocal. For now the Linkedin account is back open to those where some level of contact has previously been made. So with that said and done, it’s off to hike the Tetons.
Stay Well and Stay in Touch!!