Meeting someone new is generally accompanied with a little introduction. The introduction may comprise an exchange of names, occupations and then the conversation is likely to flow more naturally given where they may be, in whose company, for what purpose and so on. The introduction itself was, or should be, an exchange of information. But with the rise of ‘profiles’ on LinkedIn, Facebook, blogs, and pretty much any other avenue (even matrimonial sites); an introduction has been replaced by, or at least preceded by, a ‘profile’! this magical and succinct description that reduces one to the level of certain nominal variables — name, age, gender, location, school, college, company of occupation, awards and achievements.

Values to the person’s identity and personality are automatically, deliberately or subconsciously, attached from the information towards the aforementioned variables (for example, ivy league school and mergers & acquisitions professional on the ‘profile’ lend the person a certain judgment value as do ‘located in London and working in investment banking’ and ‘gold medalist from xyz’). The values may well be ascribed and consented to because of popular opinion shaped by the portrayed imagery of those names, occupations and the other profile variables. For example, the created and spread imagery of the investment banker as a ‘suited, slick, rich, BMW driving, yacht owning king of life’ or that of the Ivy League graduate being an always-winning, all knowing, arrogance-deserving ‘star of the world’ (a la the popular character from the show Suits)! Such perceptual value identification is of course, old and a given, since all of us create our association with concepts, imagery, brands, people, corporations and institutions and so on, but the inclination to make a judgment based on meeting the person and on a conversation seems less and less appealing; rather decisions of judgments are made straight from the information — from the perceptual associations of that information!

One thing that seems amusing is the ‘summary’ of some profiles; where some seem to describe themselves with their own positive values! I am a hardworking, fun loving, sports enthusiast who is methodical, dedicated, goal-oriented, and passionate about my work. Aren’t these the types of judgments or value associations that one makes about other people based on interaction, observation and personal experience?! How much would you believe me if I just sent you a mail saying ‘I am hard-working, energetic, passionate, excelling in all my spheres?’ Not too much, I suppose (in fact would my speaking like that about myself be deemed boastful, immodest and self-centered?). An even more amusing recent observation is that some profiles feature the summaries written in the third person! Now, everybody knows that one writes one’s own profile for oneself; so what does it say about the one who speak of himself/herself in the third person? How would you think of me if I introduced myself in the third person (Akshay did so and so and works in so and so while he enjoys so and so)?

If there are specific reasons for such manners of profile writing (positive reasons), which there may well be, I seem to be unaware of them. But it just seems strange, that’s all. Especially from the point of view that all these portals and profiles are simply media for one’s message and to increase possible reach of one’s message while leaving the message there for someone to view at any time. Such ‘standard’ words and ubiquitous descriptions seem to almost destroy any form of ‘identity’, reducing most of us, to our ‘profiles’ instead of being able to stand apart as individuals. You better have the right profile, because maybe, you don’t really matter!

more on :

One clap, two clap, three clap, forty?

By clapping more or less, you can signal to us which stories really stand out.