M&T Session 3

17 Feb

“Identity  and Internet Social Networking IDs”

A person used to be able to have just one name online, the screenname. My Aol screenname was “sammychick120” and I created that when I was first allowed to use the internet at the ripe age of 10. Now that username is just kind of embarrassing and I have made it so that everything has been switched to the more mature “sp6790”, which is just my initials and my date of birth. A username is like the first impression people see so switching from the one I made when I was ten to the one I have now was a big deal at the time. People use these usernames, handles, and profile names to display who they want to be seen as before a picture is seen. The name shows a lot about who a person is and what they are using the internet for.

Back in the days of MySpace, the username went from a person’s first name, to a nickname, to absolute anything they wanted it to be. The name was the first identifier that would appear on the page and tell a viewer what the person is like. There were the “Mi$z Pr3ciOuS” kind of handles to the “jiffy-pop it!”, none of which made sense, but still did let a person see how the owner of the page they were looking at wanted to be seen. These days in the world of Facebook, the handle has went from a person’s first and last name to a person’s first and middle name. The most common reason for this is not to show personality, but to be unsearchable as they enter the world of searching for a job. No one wants their future boss to see them doing a kegstand after-all!

People are using handles, screennames, and e-mail addresses to project a bit of who they are, but now a days a lot of people are using multiple names. This is confusing to me, because I have only two e-mail addresses and they both are specific to me because of my initials or half of my last name. So when I am talking to or exchanging with people who are using multiple e-mails with no connectivity to themselves it makes you wonder what they are using them for. These names present who you are, but they can also present something you are not. They could be used to hide behind or perhaps portray a person they are not. Having multiple identities to some people is like having a whole second or third life! They can be the person they always wanted to be and not have to worry about being exposed.

Handles, screennames, and e-mail addresses are that first smile or handshake that cannot happen online. They create the first impression that a person can be remembered by and so can be created to show whatever person the user wants to be seen as. Handles, screennames, and e-mail addresses have become a person’s identity.


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