How Beastie Boys got me updating my profiles for 2022 (and why you should update yours, too)

I’ve never been a Beastie Boys fan (I’ve shocked you there, haven’t I?)   

But being non-Covid-ill over Christmas left me feeling far too weak to lift the remote and change the channel, as my boyfriend settled down to watch Beastie Boys Story, a live Spike Jonze-directed documentary about the US hip-hop stars. 

Filmed at the Kings Theatre in Brooklyn, the show featured the two surviving middle-aged Beasties, Mike Diamond and Adam Horovitz, on stage (the third member, Adam Yauch, died of cancer in 2012), discussing the band’s story, and their close 40-year friendship. 

I didn’t want to admit this to my boyfriend – it was his viewing choice, after all – but the documentary was rivetingly brilliant.  

Engaging stories were told, and old photos and video clips humbly introduced on the big screen, with the same levels of warmth, embarrassment, and good-natured banter as in an intimate family reunion.  The whole thing was depthful and quirky and poignant, and it left me wanting to absorb their music, too.

One of the documentary’s best bits came when the Beasties discussed being pulled up for their early-career misogyny (amongst many other things, live shows from back then featured dancing women in cages, and an enormous hydraulic penis).  

Years later they’d apologised and vigorously cleaned up their act, but were taken to task by a media interviewer who kept accusing them of hypocrisy.  And Horovitz replied, “I’d rather be a hypocrite, than the same person forever”.

How does all this relate to the tedious business of updating your personal and professional profiles, you might ask?  

Well… you’re a constant work-in-progress, that’s how.  You really are, regardless of how many new year’s resolutions you didn’t keep, or how many good habits you failed to embed.

Research actually shows that the cells in our bodies replace themselves fully every 7-10 years, so physically we’re changing all the time, like it or not.  Meanwhile, according to the writer Ann Wroe, lasting change isn’t about seismic January transformations, but the non-earth-shattering “repeated prompts of experience” that mean “almost every day, in tiny ways, we do become better and better”. 

Basically, this is a long-winded way of saying that your profiles and your ‘About Me’ sections, not to mention any other wording that describes the wonder that is you, need to change regularly.

Not to change them at all would mean introducing yourself to others as a different – and if we’re being honest, probably lesser – person than you are now.  

If you do nothing else, have a read through your online profiles (or get an honest someone else to read them for you). It’s so easy to write them, post them, then forget about them – I’ve been there and done that, my friends – but you need to know if they describe who you are now, or who you once were. 

It’s not just about obvious things like professional experience and training, but personal outlook and opinions.  You’ve only got to look at the swathes of celebrities getting ‘cancelled’ for tweets they’d forgotten about, to understand how quickly we can discard old points of view… in our own minds, at least.   

I’ve looked through my own profiles, and I promise: once you get past the cringe-factor involved in meeting the old you (it can feel a bit like reading your teenage diaries), it’s easy to see what needs to be changed. 

You don’t want to be the same person forever, do you?  

So go on, have a look.  

And if you need any extra writing help, I’m here for you.

(You’ve also got less than a week to join my Wondrous Writing Hub, an immersive, fun, and supportive six-week online course that starts on 19th January. Find out more and book your place here).

(Photo: 2005 ABC, Inc)

Sign up to get
exclusive news...