Does the Internet demand multifacetedness?


Meet Melissa… Cupcake Lover, Runner, Cat Wrangler, Shoe Freak, Novelist.

Meet Mikey… Designer, Beer Drinker, Bicyclist, Avid Reader, Coffee Snob, Banjo Player.

These aren’t real people… Well, they probably are real people, because it seems more and more these days, you can’t be just one thing.

Years ago, I don’t think it was strange for people to describe themselves using just one title: Programmer. Accountant. Sales Associate. Event Planner. Truck Driver.

One thing just doesn’t cut it anymore. Now you can’t just tell people you’re an Engineer, you also have to let them know you’re in a band, or you collect Star Wars fan art, or grow your own green beans.

Is the Internet to blame for this? In some ways the web has allowed people with niche interests to find each other. Nerds of all kinds can find nerds with similar interests, and a place to proudly proclaim their nerdiness.

And of course you’ve got that Facebook profile or Twitter bio to fill out… and you can’t seem like some sort of weirdo who only does one thing. Are you just going to tell people you are a Writer, or will you get into your love of restoring old Vespas?

So I’m not quite sure if it’s a fear to proclaim that you are just one thing, or this finally admitting that we are multifaceted people with diverse interests.

Is part of it personal marketing? The belief that you need to sell yourself? Who wants a screwdriver when you can get a drill driver than can drill holes and put screws in things? Perhaps people think that if they have more skills they are more valuable. (Take “valuable” to mean “a better person” or “worth more money.”)

I suppose this all ties into identity in some way… Have you ever had a hard time answering the question “So what do you do?” when meeting a complete stranger in a social setting?