I recall when I was first called an "Internet Personality." It was at a convention, and that was how I was described in the program booklet. That was quite a few years ago, and it seems that over time in the age of the internet, megamedia, and 24-hour news cycles the world is filled with "personalities."
Personalities are everywhere. News personalities. Internet personalities. Writers are personalities. Colorful local personalities. It seems some of the most successful (or at least famous) people we know are, well . . . personalities.
It may make some people wonder – like myself – if you actually have to be a "personality" to get ahead in the world. Do you have to be distinct, noteworthy, identifiable, and to some extent, self-promoting?
The answer, frankly, is yes – but not necessarily for the reasons you think.
We humans relate to people. People have traits that we relate to – looks, opinions, ideas and, yes – personalities. We connect with people over their traits, their personalities, even if it's in a negative manner. Distinct traits let us understand them (or think we do). In short, to us, people, all people are "Personalities"
Think for a moment about the people in your everyday life – family, friends, co-workers. You classify them by roles and personalities, how they stand out, what they do. You remember distinct traits. All the people close to you are "personalities" in your own social sphere.
Being a "Personality" these days is a way to work with natural human social instincts.
We exist in an ever-expanding social sphere now – a time of the internet, megamedia, social media, five-minute clips, and all sorts of data flowing all the time. You need to stand out a bit more, define yourself, so the natural human social instincts we have can identify you and connect with you easier.
Or in short, yes, you need to be a bit of a "Personality." If it helps, think of it as Personal Branding. If that doesn't help, think of it as finding a way to make yourself accessible.
We're all "Personalities" now. You can ignore it, or you can curse it – or you can decide to work with it and deal with the fact on your terms. But it's not going away.
In fact, it's been with us humans since we were humans. It's just written larger now.