“We are what we pretend to be, so we must be careful about what we pretend to be” – Kurt Vonnegut
I see people labeling themselves all the time, everywhere. Just take a quick glance at Twitter or Facebook. Consider what I’m talking about. Your friend James is telling the world that he’s a conservative. Your neighbor Anna write that she’s a feminist. And let’s no forget your cousin Robert shoving down our throats that he’s a fan of Volkswagen.
Labels are like a package deal. They can be anything from political affiliations, sports teams, a brands or anything else that someone can identify at. They have more effect on your attitude, than your attitude have on them. When you take the label, you take everything that comes with it. It’s like loosing your free will. Does Coca-Cola really taste better than Pepsi? In my mind, it’s more or less the same. Just people identifying too much with one or the other.
Then, why does people label themselves? Labeling comes from a primal way of thinking. The brain is wired to do it. Often, we aren’t aware of it. In the caveman era, banishment from the tribe meant death in the wilderness. Society has evolved, but the brain not so much. Not belonging to the group won’t result in an ostracism like in ancient Athens. No worry, you won’t be cast away for 10 years by public vote. Never forget that labels can make people judge you before even knowing you. The “package deal” effect work both ways. My advice, be yourself and stay clear of labels.