It’s a strange thing to say, coming from someone who makes his living writing for websites, but a thought occurred to me as I was trolling around the Internet looking at my various social media profiles (Facebook, for example), wondering whether I was conveying the right message about myself.

The thought was: “You are not your website.”

If you’ve ever wondered whether you’re wasting too much time online thinking about what you want to do rather than doing it, here’s my take.

Stop Wanting, Start Being

We have an unprecedented opportunity these days to be almost anything we want. But wanting is much different from being, and as great as the Web is, it tends to exacerbate the underlying problem we all have: we tend to want too much.

There’s nothing wrong with wanting per se, except for ceaseless and mindless wanting, and this can find expression online.

Examples

We compare the number of friends or fans we have on Facebook, for instance, to the number other people have, and in that way measure our self-worth.

We agonize over the content on our websites in an attempt to convey authority and credibility—even if we’re not yet certified specialists, masters, gurus, ninjas, etc.—and therefore find ourselves really fantasizing rather than doing.

We spend too much time composing our LinkedIn and Twitter profiles so that we appear to be who we want to be, rather than getting out there and doing real marketing.

True “Organic Growth”

If you want to do the Web and social media right, you’ll allow it to grow organically. By that I mean you’ll do and be first, then write or post about it, not the other way around.

Be who you are, not who you want, and your life online (and off) will make more sense.

(photo: http://www.flickr.com/photos/madflojo/3473020388/)