1.profiles: what are you saying about you?

Social media experts put great emphasis on the importance of an individual’s user profile. It’s your first ‘hello’ to someone new online and what it says begins to define who you are. It’s the point of entry for your emotional and intellectual connection with some one. It also influences how people might find you and why they want to be connected to you. As you consider your online ‘first impression’ remember the old adage –

“You only have one time to make a first impression.”

The words you select and arrange to describe whatever is about you, not only begins to create YOU for others – it reinforces U 4 U.  You are setting up expectations in those words and your integrity will be measured by how closely what follows is aligned.

My dear friend and bestselling leadership author, Dr. John C. Maxwell, gave me a small book back in 2000. It’s titled, As a Man Thinketh. It was penned by James Allen and first published in 1902. That little treasure is HIGH impact for me – just like my friend John.

Allen based his work on this verse in Proverbs:

“As a man thinketh, so he is.”

Proverbs 23:7


Below are some of my favorite quotes from the book – many of these have occupied the character fields of my own status updates.  They keep me thinking about my thinking and how my thinking influences me.

  • Men do not attract what they want, but what they are.
  • A man is literally what he thinks, his character being the complete sum of all his thoughts.
  • The soul attracts that which it secretly harbors, that which it loves, and also that which it fears.
  • Every action and feeling is preceded by a thought.
  • Right thinking begins with the words we say to ourselves.
  • Circumstance does not make the man, it reveals him to himself.
  • You cannot travel within and stand still without.

Think carefully about the written profile. You may be in the process of creating one for a new site. If not, then take a fresh look at the profiles you’ve posted on current sites. Perhpas it is time for an update!

Challenge yourself regarding how your words reflect who you claim to be.

  • Are those words influencing you as much as they are others?
  • Are those words shaping your online conversations?
  • Are your words telling the best story of you?
  • Are you being true to you?

So what do you think?

What’s the most important thing to communicate in an online profile?  When you see someone identifying with Christ, does it make a difference?

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  • Anonymous

    Being authentic online has always been a big concern for me. I love “men do not attract what they want but what they are.” Great thought. Now, I’m not sure what to do with the part of my profile that reads “my current pursuit: becoming an international man of mystery.”

  • Tami Heim

    I don’t think I would change that part Maurilio – it is SOOOOOO you and part of what we love about you. /

  • CDMuineachin

    Please read Proverbs 23:7 in context…

  • http://twitter.com/RachelHauck RachelHauck

    What an absolutely fantastic post. Beyond what our social profile says about it, but what we say to AND about ourselves. Words are soooo important! We speak destruction over ourselves in so many ways. It feels our hearts then spills out in our social media, our profiles our posts to FB or Twitter.

    What a great reminder of doing the Romans 12:1-2 thing — personally and cyberly! :)

    Off to check my profiles!

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  • Tami Heim

    We underestimate the power in our words all the time. There is wisdom in weighing them – personally and cyberly.
    Happy checking, friend.

  • Tami Heim

    Always important to do – Thanks CD.
    There are things He does not want His children to do. Riches pass away and character lasts for eternity. Watch who you call friend. Love the heart that makes fellowship real and lasting. Fools misunderstand. Set a good example. Watch your company and live by the truth.

  • ~Melinda Y.~

    “What’s the most important thing to communicate in an online profile?” The answer for me parallels to what is significant in a ‘real life’ social setting. I’m a servant of God, wife, mom, and student.
    Do these roles impact the flow of traffic that comes to my Twitter/Facebook screens? Does my profile adequatley determine how I will influence others for Christ in my offline community? Yes. It’s a point of entry to establishing connections.
    When I see others following Christ it does influence my decision about whether I wish to follow them online. However, I don’t wish to travel in a ‘christian bubble’ so I look for opportunities to allow His words to draw others(who may be on the fence with their faith) closer to the heart of Jesus.

  • http://lynndove.wordpress.com/ Lynn

    Since I became an author and I have a blog with a large readership, I am more and more aware the words I write and the way I present myself online. It is imperative that my readers know I am a Christ-follower first and that I represent Him to the best of my ability in all that I say, do and write.

  • Tami Heim

    Bless you for making Him known through you. I appreciate your heart.

  • Tami Heim

    I love that you don’t want to stay in a ‘Christian Bubble’ and that you actively seek opportunities to reach out to others. I deeply value my online community of believers – but we are called to do so much more. Melinda – the world needs to see His joy in you. It is infectious. You Go Girl!

  • Toni

    Love it — cyberly! Certainly a nice new word! You go girls!

  • http://www.tonyjalicea.com Tony Alicea

    This was great. The other perspective I get from this is determine to be real. We can tend to project the image that we “want” people to have of us. That’s not authentic either. My goal is to be as true to what I’m walking out in my own life as possible.

    Oh and absolutely stellar quotes by Allen.

  • Tami Heim

    Thanks Tony for sharing. Grateful you are committed to ‘keeping it real.’ Standing with you on that noble goal!

  • http://twitter.com/SandraHeskaKing SandraHeskaKing

    Ya know, I changed my profile some time back. Simplified it. Now it doesn’t even reference my faith. I kind of hoped folks who might pass me by because of my faith might be “sucked in.” Rethinking it, though.