By any other name...Can you label yourself?


Last night, an aunt of mine told me she had been reviewing my "web site" -- did she mean my blog, my Twitter profile, my Facebook profile? I am still at a loss for which online presence to which she was referring. Regardless, she had one problem with my bio. After 30 minutes of discussion about what countries I have been to in 2009 and which ones I plan to fly out to in 2010, she said "Erin, you simply cannot call yourself a 'jet-setter.'" She informed me that it was perfectly acceptable and - in fact - honorable to be called a jet-setter by others, but to label one's self such a thing was a bit - I don't know, pretentious? I don't recall her exact adjective. I think, in fact, she avoided telling me that self-labeling was anything in particular. She simply implied that it was a massive faux-pas.

It immediately reminded me of how we are all falling into the same trap when we call ourselves a "social media guru" or "social media expert." How much can we label ourselves and get away with it? I used to be able to call myself an online marketing specialist or "online marketing consultant" and all was well. Now that I'm getting more specific with things, is there a threshold of, say, speaking appearances or consulting gigs I must land before I can call myself an expert in social media marketing? Is there a certain number of miles I must obtain - a la George Clooney in "Up in the Air" - before I can call myself a "jet setter?" Is being Platinum on American Airlines' Advantage program enough?

Is it really faux pas to label one's self? Where do we draw the lines?