When my son was three years old. I said in my friendly mom voice, ‘€œCmon, kid, let’€™s go get something to eat.’€
My son, my best teacher, looked up to me and replied, ‘€œI’€™m a people, not a kid.’€
What we call each other makes a difference.
I think of the words that are, and might be used, to label me. Some are lovely. Some are not so comfortable. None of them are really me just as my son is more than a kid.
We use words to helps us group people efficiently, but sometimes the grouping loses sight of the individual in the groups. The group identity, which isn’t more than air and thought, becomes more real than the folks who eat and sleep and breathe.
We follow demographics blindly and wonder why we went wrong. All we have to do is ask one person in the group we’re thinking for, and we’ll know what wrong thing we assumed.
I don’€™t really want to be an eyeball. Okay, I’ll agree that sometimes, I am a user. I do find myself in an audience. Yes, often, I’€™m a reader. I make my living as a writer. I even call myself a blogger.
I don’€™t like where the term citizen journalist came from, so please, I’€™d rather not be one.
I’€™m a sister, friend, and cousin. My son calls me his mother.
My husband calls me his wife. He’€™s been under strict agreement from day one to avoid the spouse word. Who’d want to be something that has the interjection ow! right in the middle of it? Hey, I write — I notice that stuff.
The first word we learn is our name. Names are important words. They prove that we are individuals, unique in as many as we are the same.
Last June, Garrick Van Buren said
Individuals. All of us. Alone together. Even though we hide behind organizations, keyboards, and words — we’€™re all individual people.
When you do your market research and you put us individuals into a group, if you could remember that each of us has a name that would be incredibly cool.
That’s what gives your data and our world ‘€“ virtual and 3-D ‘€“ every bit of its humanity.
We’€™re people, not some relationship, habit, or age group.
Sometimes we need a three year old to remind us of that.
Liz Strauss talks to people one at a time at Successful Blog.