You on the web is about individualism, not narcissism

I write weekly for my company’s blog, Work+Play. In fact, it was there that I first got into blogging and realized I wanted to give it a try myself. Of course I could easily be writing nearly everything I write on this blog in my company’s blog (our blog team manager sometimes has to twist arms to get posts out of my coworkers). But I’d rather do the bulk of it here.

Individualism 2

Why? Because writing my thoughts down and sharing them is more about me as an individual than it is about where I work. And now with the web at my fingertips I can easily and quickly get online and establish my viewpoint, speculate about the future, and write my part of the big story.

Steve Rubel wrote recently in his blog about the Golden Age of Individualism, and his article crystallized my thinking about why people spend so much time on their MySpace, Facebook, or LinkedIn profiles, and why they spend so much time writing a blog, posting pictures, or uploading video to the web. Of course the internet is allowing people to build identities (personal brands, if you will) and share them in ways that they never could before. But it’s not self-congratulation, it’s self-expression. Sure there are plenty of people who are really in love with themselves (just like in the offline world), and it may not all be pretty, but it’s not all indulgent either.

Last March I wrote a blog entry for my company entitled “Online narcissism now rampant.” Even though that title was a bit tongue-in-cheek (provocative titles get people to read!), it’s ironic that I now reverse my direction on my own, personal blog. I guess I had to do it to really understand it.

[Photo Credit: Gary Sharkey]

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