Wednesday, January 27, 2010

May's Monikers

I think a lot lately about the internets now versus when they first started getting popular when I was in high school. In a lot of ways, I liked it better back in the day, when everyone online was a geek and it was like being at a private party. I had such great connections with people when I started journaling online, so now that I've got a blog with over a hundred readers [which still doesn't seem real to me], the comparative level of feedback is disappointing. Because back when only 20 people were reading me, a lot more commented and it was easier to make friends [at least for me]. Anyway, it just feels like the internet belongs to normal ppl now instead of freaks like me, but I guess it was bound to happen sooner or later.

Join me on a trip internet memory lane, in the form of my usernames:

claybourne - this was a totally random pick. At the time, I was doing a lot of random research about names and so when I was trying to start an account at and none of the neat names I picked were available (I'm anti using numbers in usernames, p.s.), I was like, "well no one will pick THIS name, dammit!" And they hadn't, so it was mine. Interestingly, this username caused several people to confuse me for a gay male for quite a while. That cracked me up.

Seductress - this was a secret username for a secret account I used to write very dirty, but well plotted erotica online somewhere. And no I'm not telling you where. This just seemed like the obvious choice for a name and I was surprised it hadn't been taken already. My erotica writing period didn't last very long though, probably because I'm lazy and would rather just think of something and masturbate than write it down.

dreamypoetess - When IM became the new big thing to do when I was in college, I started an AIM account with this name. Cuz it was an apt description of me. Eventually, I stopped liking this name and it still kinda bugs me. Probably because I feel like it makes me seem like a spaced out weirdo, which is not too far from the truth...

bluepantsdemon - When I got sick of dreampoetess, I started using this instead. This is from the Simpsons episode where Homer takes over the church. At the end, when Rev. Lovejoy is praying, he says, "Forgive them, Lord, they were led astray by a demon in blue pants." And since I had a pair of bright blue cheerleading pants that I LOVED at the time, it seemed fitting since I was all about my bad girl identity back then.

reddvenus - When I was switching to Gmail right before I entered graduate school, it seemed time for a change. So I tried to think of what defines me and I came up with 1) the red hair and 2) how I'm a sucker for love. So smoosh those two ideas together, add an extra "d" cuz that's how the cool kids roll, and there you go.

readheadgirl - I came up with this when I got to grad school and it suddenly seemed like everyone was on LiveJournal. So I joined the club and came up with this, not wanting to use the reddvenus for whatever reason, though I used it on MySpace. This just seemed a good description of me: a girl with red hair who also likes to read. Wordplay is fun! Anyway, I liked this one so much I ended up using it on Twitter and DeviantArt. It's the username I'm most known by now.

MzDaddy - This is just for fetish sites, because I needed a domme name to go by online. By Baby calls me "Daddy" and it was a cinch to add the "Mz" to make it clear I has girl bits on top of my masculine, dominating attitude.

So what about you? Have your online identifiers changed with you?

Related posts:
Asperger's and the Internet
Personality Analysis for Bloggers
In Defense of Internet Memes and Personality Quizzes

Like what you see? Subscribe here


Alymaybe said...

I, too, have gone through many a screen name. I was younger when I started using the internet. My AOL days date back to I believe 1996 when I was six years old (that feels right, though it may have been '97). My AOL account was "scootermay" because I had always gone by Alymay, but we wanted something a little more anonymous, and Scooter's Magic Castle was the computer game I was playing. Then, in upper-elementary school it was kiwigirl19 because I loved eating kiwi. In middle school, I was known as "trombonequeenpi", because I needed to add a number to the end of "trombonequeen" and Pi was my favorite number at the time. In high school, I did a trombone clinic where this trombonist I really idolized told me that I was a very "spunky" player, and it was the greatest compliment of my life. My AOL days being over, I needed an AIM screenname, so "spunkytrombones" I became. Then, in late high school/early college, Arrested Development was big, and my friends started calling me "Maybe" since I attended one of those Massachusetts charter schools that don't give grades like the character Maybe in Arrested Development made fun of. Then, I became "Alymaybe". It's pretty crazy that we've gone through so many aliases in the short lives we've had on the internet.

May said...

It really is!

Jules Bowen said...

I began my heavy internet use about ten years ago. At that time, I was a dispatcher and a pagan. I had the user name "witchpatcher". Still use it today for a few things.

I use my real name for my blog that I just started this month. I wanted to blog about my real feelings and the real name seemed to fit. :)

JOCOeveryman said...

I don't remember a bunch of different user names. This is really my first alias. Otherwise it was just my name. I'm a little older than you though. I remember using Compuserv with a dial up modem (yikes) and chats were really party lines and then switching over to AOL seemed like going from black and white to color television.....even though you paid by the minute and I remember getting a bill for like $300 which was a fortune back then.

Hadn't thought about it much...but that is why I like to read you.

Joe Pontillo said...

I do miss the early days of the www. It definitely had a higher geek ratio. But as the web has grown to be all-inclusive, the geeks have still found ways of identifying and separating themselves from the pack, and their markers are more amusing than ever.

Anyway, my aliases...

I want to say it was '96-ish that my high school upgraded the library with internet-ready computers. It was then that I opened my first Hotmail account. I took the name "SAJMantis," which comes from a comic that a friend and I were writing at the time. That has been my longest-lasting alias. I've felt very protective of that proprietary name, so I always try to "reserve" it when a new site becomes popular. (From Hotmail, to Yahoo, to Gmail, to MySpace, to Facebook...)

But while SAJMantis has always been my main ID, I've gone through a string of side IDs. They're more easy come, easy go. There were many variations on "mantis." There was Saturated Phat, which was my sarcastic hip hop name. There was Your Mom, because then anyone addressing you directly is automatically making a "your mom" joke. I'm sure there were several others.

Once I started blogging, as you well know, I somehow landed on Your Daily Joe - expressing both my name and my affection for coffee. Also a bit of a misnomer, since I don't manage to blog daily. It's aspirational, let's say. Plus, it's just a name.

Now that I'm all grown-uppy, I have to keep e-mail addresses that are simply my name, for business purposes. What can I say, the internet is serious business.