Tuesday, April 29, 2008

What's in a name?

I have been thinking about this a lot. Why do we use pseudonyms? A lot of you bloggers have pseudonyms but are also quite open as to what your real name is.
Do pseudonyms make us feel better because it's like a mask and we can maybe have opinions that are stronger without being judged too harshly, maybe? Perhaps?

I tried to create a blog the other day as me, myself and I, you know, my name etc... I set it up and went to write my first post. I found it extremely difficult. It's not that I write anything exceptionally controversial or character hacking, and my blog (Blonde Blogshell) is actually extremely honest and very very me.
Suddenly my name was up and I couldn't write. I felt so vulnerable and I can't believe I'm going to write this word, but it is the perfect description, I felt shy.
I felt shy and vulnerble and even though most people won't know who I am, I was worried that I would be judged or that I wouldn't be able to use the fuck word anymore (the fuck word is a beautiful word though, isn't it? It's so expressive and sometimes completely necessary!), because it would tarnish my image , that maybe people I don't necessarily like, would find my blog or people I do like would find my blog and suddenly that made me feel extremely shy.

I deleted the blog that had my name plastered over it as I just couldn't be myself. I KNOW!! It sounds ridiculous, doesn't it? I know that and it still doesn't make sense to me, but I am able to be myself with opinions, feelings, experiences and thoughts more under the Blonde Blogshell than my name. Question is, does this make me insecure? Is it OK to be vulnerable?
I hide behind the pseudonym but I don't treat as a mask where I get to pretend to be something I'm not...I hide behind the pseudonym that is my vulnerability/shyness mask.
Weird. I know.

I want to know why you use a pseudonym and why you chose the pseudonym you did. Perhaps everyone was using one and you decided to too, or perhaps you have a reason for it.
I chose the Blonde Blogshell...interesting story this...NOT!
I am blonde and I liked the play on words of Bombshell and Blogshell! Smart neh? Ha ha ha!


MidniteGem said...

I've been using what I call my online personality for 12 years now, at first it was as an early teenager experiementing with online chat rooms and of course not wanting to use my real name but still wanting it to be linked to my actual name. I dont remember the exact thought process now but Midnite Gem brought the image to my mind of a deep sparkling vibrant colour and that I hope is me. I def am still me off line as well as online but it has given me a name that I can only use online and therefore be untrackable as my real name.
wow - i cant believe its been 12 years !

ChewTheCud said...

I was commenting under my old nickname for ages - then something happened that I had to change nicks. It was just the first thing I could think of, and I continued commenting for a couple of months before I started a blog. I kept the new nick ;)

The Divine Miss M said...

I don't mind people knowing my real name it is just that I don't want any colleagues to stumble across my blog and know my name - or anyone at my company - as I could get in trouble.

My online name is from my dear friend phillygirl who was looking for a nick on her blog and dubbed me The Divine Miss M. My surname starts with M, I'm a miss and apparently by all accounts divine ;)

I like it. My other friend likened it to a dominatrix name, which I like even more!

The Divine Miss M said...

Btw, I have plenty of friends who know me reading my blog so I am not completely untracable!

Slyde said...

i hear ya on that anonymity thing.

I dont use my real name on my blog, but all my friends and some of my family know of it, so i may as WELL be using my real name.

It makes writing some of the things i want to talk about... difficult...

As for my name, ive had it since high school... mostly because i was a smooth talker who could "slide" his way out of confrontations...

Working Girl Two said...

i second what the divine miss m said. i have hide from people at work so i thought it would be easier having a nickname as well as keep the blog as anonymous as possible.

but i also write with my roommate and her co-workers read her blog at work and know her real name. so i guess it's just what you're comfortable with (and whether or not you'll get fired for what you write!)

Supanova said...

I know exactly what you mean. I have a blog with my name and photos and everything... but I got to a point where I couldn't write what I was feeling - I couldn't be blatantly honest coz the people reading it owuld know it was me and I could have gotten into so much trouble were I to write what I felt like writing. So ja... the pseudonym thang kinda makes me feel invincible! It's like I have a secret super-power, like I'm Clark Kent! And that sure feels good! LMAO!
P.S - Did you find your phone?

Don't believe a word I write said...

I think it's about giving people a version of your life that you are happy with strangers knowing. The people who do know you probably appreciate knowing both the act and the real person behind the act.

The Blonde Blogshell said...

Interesting comments guys! Thank you!!

Really interesting indeed!! x Thanks for popping in :-)

Some of my friends know about the blog, but if work had to find out and my industry had to find out, I'd actually want to leave country and yet, I haven't really ever said something that could get me in major trouble...I'm a weird one, I'll admit it!!

happy snapper said...

Yeah I completely know what you mean. I have another blog where I use my real name and people I know read it, but I dont feel like I can be completely open and honest on there either. It's weird. Plus some of them are also people I work with or have worked with, so I decided to give myself a nickname. Happy Snapper came about, because I take LOADS of pictures. My camera is permanently on me, and whenever I go out, Im the deisgnated photo taker, ha ha. Im trigger happy. So, it jsut seemed like a logical name :) I do however have one person who knows me personally reading this, and that's Kab. I dont know who else reads mine though.
Whatever makes you comfortable though, as long as you're able to express yourself, it doesnt matter who knows you're real name.

The Chronicles of a Fashionista in PDX said...

I have used "handle" names for a long time. As for blogging, well... I use a pseudonym to protect myself against psycho online stalkers. If I used my real name then it would be really easy to track me down, since the name I have is unique to only a few people on this planet. And there is only one person of this name in my area. I also use pseudonyms for my friends, as well, because I want them to be protected, too, if someone was smart enough to link me to them. Call it paranoia, but there are too many crazies out there.

phillygirl said...

Mine is also a nickname I was given in real life and as pseudonyms go, it's not a far reach.

I mostly blog under a nick for the same reasons Miss M does. As much as I don't mind people I know reading the blog, I don't want random acquaintances from work and the like stumbling upon it and knowing all.

Also, when I first started it (and still), by ex (then current) boyf (or any of his friends) didn't know a thing about it and what we were were going thru was mentioned quite extensively. I believe the people not posting deserve their privacy too and so have chosen nicknames for everyone else I happen to mention. These days it's just far too simple to Google someone and find all the places they're mentioned. Hell, I do that to people all the time :)