I’m on social media a lot, it’s a big part of my marketing job, and because of that I spend a lot of time looking at peoples bios. Social media bios have always been interesting to me because there is limited space and people normally try to condense a whole lot of themselves into them. They normally rely heavily on labels.
I have a love/hate relationship with labels. I love certain ones that express my hobbies. Throwing the “novelist” label up in my Twitter bio made me feel official, even if I haven’t had one of them published yet. I felt somewhat vindicated my hard work- I’ve written seven books, I have the right to call myself that. These kinds of labels are easy to grab at, they’re wonderful and they accurately portray how we’re using our time. They’re personal, that’s what we identify as. They define us and our passions.
But labels have a flip side, they aren’t always just defining us, sometimes they’re defining groups that we’re roping ourselves into by association. Sometimes they’re describing a small part of us that people then turn into our whole identity. Sometimes using them isn’t a breathe of fresh air, sometimes they’re more of a brand, thrown on us by ourselves so that we can be put out with the rest of the cattle “similar” to us.
I think labels are important, because I think our personalities and how we define ourselves are important, and I’m not just talking about social media, I’m talking about how you define yourself out in the real world everyday. What words are you using regularly?
You want to define your labels, you don’t want to let your labels define you.
So how do you do that?