The one defining characteristic we all share, the one unique and profound element of each and everyone of us is the name we are given. From the reason to why we were given such a name to the historical lineage and significance of what a name has come to represent, our name, beyond it’s objective purpose, encompasses what and who each of us is. It’s essence is at the very heart of our existence.
It signified what tribe you came from. It represented the language and dialect you spoke. It made others aware of the region you came from. And grew into characterizing the nationality you came from. It effectively describes us in a manner more than we truly understand or choose to realize. It was the mark you put down when coming to the New World, the signature that made your home and the last thing that is ever read in a letter by the one you love. Your name is utterly more powerful and significant than simply the characters that represent it.
It represents every transaction you make. From bank notes to ownership, business relations to pay checks, marriage, authorship and beyond. And in a growing world based in text, online search and social profiles, the purpose of your name has expanded and become more imperative than it ever has before. It simply doesn’t represent who you are. It is who you are.
With the unprecedented growth of social networks, social media and mobile technology, the context of the name has evolved into something that is truly beyond the physical individual. It is the title in your friend’s BlackBerry contacts. It is the quintessential component which makes the social world possible. Our name is the underlying signifier of everything that is the composition of our social profiles and everything that lives in an interconnected world.
The implications here are fascinating. Our names are the titles of our virtual self and they are becoming the key-indicators to our real self. Our social media behaviour attributes our name to the ambassadoring of the smart phones we use, the Facebook “likes”, the brands, causes and marketing we support, the tweet links we share and the statements we make. It glorifies, humanizes and broadens human tendencies into the unnatural ultimately culminating the unnatural to become natural everyday components and necessities of life.
Rather than focusing on the negatives and many supposed downturns the impact of our name has had in instances of the online world, we should embrace and represent who we are. We’re all utterly enthralled and mystified by the negative simplicities that our name attributes to us in a growing world of online search and social profiles. The negatives clearly exist as we participate in the emerging dynamics of our new world but the positives are undeniable beneficial and life-altering.
Our name, both in the physical and virtual worlds, is immortal and will outlast each and every one of us. It’s up to us to decide how you will make the greatest impact through one of the most significant and powerful characteristics we all have. Will you rise above yourself for the happiness of others? Will you influence the world with positive actions? Will you empower yourself to somehow change the world? Even on the smallest of scales. Your name is and will always be the everlasting testament of who you are.
**Originally posted on Josip Petrusa’s blog “it’s Josip not Joseph”