In 3 Seconds: What is Your Identity?

I’ve changed the name. ThankYouForNotWastingMyTime.com has become my name, HeatherMaidat.com.

Originally, before anyone subscribed, this website was called “Nobody Weekly” as if it was a spoof of Us Weekly meets People Magazine. But I’ve learned that when people come to a website they need to know within 3 seconds what it is. Nobody knew what Nobody Weekly was.

So I renamed it to Thank You For Not Wasting My Time because I love writing about life through time. But I learned that people connect more with a “person” as a brand.

Wait. Brand?

Before a few years ago, the word “brand” applied to things like ketchup and household cleaners. But apparently, it applies to people, especially those with a website. Who am I and what do I stand for? In 3 seconds, with only a few words and a font no less?

My first experience with branding myself actually came when I was single and signed up for a dating site. I had to come up with just the right name – my “handle” – and list specific qualities about myself. Who was I? And was that attractive to anyone else? Which qualities represented me in a way I wanted to be represented?

Dating was riding a fine line with marketing and self-promotion.

Which added another layer to my identity struggle. See, when I was growing up, self-promotion was called showing off. We weren’t really supposed to let anyone know something good had happened in our lives. For example, if you went to a nice restaurant you wouldn’t go and tell everyone about it the next day at school or you’d be called a Show Off or people would say that you’re “bragging”.

Now people post lavish meals, awards they’ve won, celebrities they’ve met. Some people curate their lives just for this purpose. I come from humility and privacy. But I keep being told I have to get more attention. More likes. More followers. More subscribers. I’m telling you, if Facebook was around when I was a pre-teen, instead of a thumbs up for “like” there would have been a thumbs down for “showing off.” People would not be taking selfies of their spectacular pancakes. They would be eating them and keeping the whole thing under wraps. Nobody even thought of taking a picture of a pancake.

What I’m finding though, is that the upside to figuring out my “brand” is that I have to strengthen my identity. “Is that me?” I ask and check in with myself… as I’m also asking, “Is that who I aspire to be?”

Neuroscientist Joe Dispenza describes an important goal in shrinking the gap between our inner and outer self. I think that’s one of the reasons why people are craving authenticity. With authenticity, there’s no gap between inner and outer. And if you take that a step further, there’s less of a gap between all of us.

So after all of this inner and outer self-reflection, I changed the domain name, and am grateful to you, and your identity, for joining me here.

Now to rework the About Me page. (What do I know about me exactly?!)

4 Comments on “In 3 Seconds: What is Your Identity?”

  1. So true! And, I never really thought about this in this way… When and how did showing off change from unacceptable to acceptable? It’s amazing how you demonstrate this phenomenon in your article!

    1. Heather Maidat says:

      I’m so glad you get that! Another strange change I’ve noticed we’re supposed to be comfortable with is lack of privacy. Phone booths, especially those with *doors*, represented something about our culture. Now people yell into their cell phones all the time – and no one seems to notice! Thanks for your comment!!

  2. Even this odyssey is enjoyable to read. It is so interesting to realize “don’t show off” has become “brag.” Is “brag” only on facebook? Do your friends brag in person, too? I love the phrase, “curate their lives.” Wow. Tell me more.

    1. Heather Maidat says:

      Thank you for your comment! It is interesting! A complete switch in the directive. Great question! I do think it’s social media and media related (for example content on TV showing lives of excess), and I think that makes people even more confused.

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