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Thursday, November 02, 2006

What's the story of your handle, err username, err persona?

The internet is truly an amazing tool. People across the world can meet and make friends. In the blogosphere we have entire networks of friends that share daily experiences and observations. Some of us do this as ourselves and some of us do this as an online persona. Some persona’s, like Miss Snark, are widely known. Other’s, like mine, are not. The persona can hide who we really are… an older gentleman can act like a young school girl. A young woman can act like an older biker dude. People can create a fantasy of who they are and then share it as “fact”. I think this creates an interesting avenue for discussion.

If you’ve seen the username Rashenbo somewhere, more than likely it’s me. I’ve used it for years and to me, it’s as much my name as the name that’s on my birth certificate. I have friends who know who I am, yet to them, I’m Rashenbo.

What do you think about online personas? Do you use one? Why? What’s the story behind your username or online persona? Is your persona your alter-ego? Are you afraid of people finding out something personal and using it against you? Do you act out under your persona as if that “name” has its own behavior and attitude?

To start the discussion, I’ll tell you where mine comes from. My parents were told they couldn’t have children. Surprise! They were delighted. I was due on December 9th . On December 20th I decided to share my presence with the rest of the world. Unfortunately, I was breach. My legs were tight against my body and my feet were against my neck and along with my feet - my umbilical cord, wrapped nice and neat around my neck.

My heartbeat was failing and my mother weakened with each contraction. The doctors had to perform an emergency C-section. They warned my father that the infant might not survive. Now, my father is not a man who would be described as emotional. He also has an extremely, well weird, sense of humor that a lot of people don’t get. He does, however, love my mother completely.

When my mother and I arrived safely in the room following surgery she asked him what my name should be. He made an elaborate, and I’ve been told, highly entertaining story and told her that I should be named Rashenbo. They didn’t name me Rashenbo. But the story means something to me… and that name MEANS something, to me.

Now it’s your turn.



Blogger December Quinn said...

Well mine is just my pen name. I made it up. December because I like winter. Quinn is from Quint, the ill-tempered sea dog from Jaws.

I have a pen name because I don't like my real name.

Fascinating, eh?

3:57 PM  
Blogger Heidi the Hick said...

Yours is a great story!

Heidi is my real name. I've chosen not to reveal my surname though. Keepin it at arm's length.

for my pen name I'm going to use the middle name that my brilliant mother gave me!

As for online persona, this really is me...but not all of me. It's partly for privacy but also because I fancy myself a writer and I don't want to give all my secrets away!!!

6:02 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

LOL. I had no idea this was a topic on your blog. I write under my real name. I discovered that I needed a critique group to improve my work. In the critique group I ran into some trouble. The ones who knew I had been published before couldn't understand why I had mistakes in my writing. (Writer's rarely see all of their own mistakes. Even editors need editing.) Others treated me differently because I'm a female and thought I should stick to romance. To combat this I have an online male persona.

I've also started writing under another name, but that is because the work is very different from what I'm currently releasing.

Confused yet?

8:08 PM  
Blogger Susan said...

Rash, that's an AWESOME story, babe.

Me, I'm WestofMars for a bunch of reasons, but ultimately, that's where I live. Since we moved out here, I wanted to own a business named West of Mars; I think it's too clever for words (but you don't stand a chance of getting it unless you know me REALLY well). When the Tour Manager was nervous about naming my web domain SusanGottfried-dot-com, I said, "Well, let's use West of Mars."

Voila. And so I am my own business.

8:27 PM  
Blogger Rashenbo said...

I love reading the responses by you guys!

9:42 PM  
Blogger LadyBronco said...

Well, mine is a bit more obvious, I'm afraid.
I am a woman (Lady) and I love the Denver Broncos (Bronco).
Nothing terribly imaginative, but it suites me! :-)

9:45 PM  
Blogger Bernita said...

I use my real name.
What you see is what you get.

7:24 AM  
Blogger LK Hunsaker said...

I go by both my real name and my nickname online, depending where I am at the moment, but I don't keep it a secret that one is the other.

My nickname is Voxxylady. Vox means voice in Latin and is quite appropriate for a writer, I think. Vox is also a brand of music equipment, and I'm music-obsessed. Voxx is one of my fave albums by one of my fave bands. Lady ... well, I try to be, LOL! My work tends to reflect that.

Great question! I always wonder where people get their handles.

10:27 AM  
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