Yesterday was a big day for me. In my online buddy group with whom I've been a member for almost two years, I finally was able to gather the courage to come clean and disclose my real life-not online identity. *GASP* Yes, it is true, they now know my real name (first name anyway) and are now able to start stalking me.
Ok-all kidding aside, these are a great bunch of ladies who I've gotten to know well and have developed a true relationship with. We've had our ups and downs with many issues and they are a supportive, sweet, group of gals I'm glad I got to know. Lately everytime they referred to me by my "online identity" I felt as though I was being dishonest and after days of contemplating-decided to reveal the truth. Now that I'm not a member of that group anymore... just kidding! ...of course the girls totally understood and were totally ok with the whole thing. "What's in a name? That which we call a rose by any other name would smell as sweet."
I think I started using the Internet in 1995. At that time the big thing was "protect your identity". So I always chose online names/identities that had nothing to do with my real name. The first screen name I used was Sasha Foo. One evening as I was watching television, there was a commercial for a Canadien news show with a reporter whose name was Sasha Foo. It just seemed so fake and quirky that I decided to use it for my screen name. *My apologies to Sasha if you should ever come across this blog* After that, I've been some form of Jen/Jensen forever and lately... I don't like it anymore. In the age of identity theft, is it really a huge risk to put my real first name on a blog? I've come to read many of your blogs and have many conversations with some of you through e-mail and posting and I feel dishonest to you too (especially when I know some of your "real" names)...
The whole experience has been quite thought provoking but also liberating. It felt great! So great that I'm considering revealing my true name here too. At the same time, the thought makes me feel a little anxious, so I'll have to mull over it for a bit longer. Baby steps. I guess I still have a foot in the closet.