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The Toybox

people for the conservation of limited amounts of indignation


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then shall I know even as also I am known
bored
seperis
Embracing one's inner elitist snob is a lot easier than one might think.

I'm reccing today.

Gakked from jaymalea

Easy Way Out by ragingpixie - QaF, futureficish, in which there are patterns and also, Brian. Who is compared to a angel in a non-cliched way. I really didn't think that could be done, but there we go.

White Noise 1 and White Noise 2 by soundczech, in which there is AUness, Justin didn't do Brian that first night, and the name Stanley makes an appearance. You see that author's name? That's really all the incentive you need, *I* think. Shoo. Read.

I had an amusing thought last night about multiple identities. Yes, I know, I *know* completely unoriginal thought, but it just tickled me in chat.



The Problem

LJland, fandom, AIM, and real life could actually be considered four different things in terms of identification.

A few days ago, a friend's story was recced--at least, I thought it was, until I saw the author name and went, who the *hell* is that? So I AIMed her and asked and okay, it *was* her, which was a relief but still endlessly weird, because I didn't connect her to that name at all. It was kind of like talking to a stranger for a few seconds, because--gah, she's *not* X, she's Y dammit.

In RL, we have name/visual memory to keep track--so Edwina can be Mrs. Potter, Mrs. John Potter, and Eddie all at the same time, and we sort of have all options at the same time and none of them is ever going to be a real secret. So say, when I visualize her face, I get all four identities pretty well.

That doesn't work so well in LJ--right, some of us put pics up, but how many people can really remember those? Icons are interchangeable. And when Edwina is also StarDestroyer66 on AIM and cutiepie78676 on LJ and uses the pseudonym DarlalovesDavid when she writes? And that's just in Latest Fandom, because in Star Wars, she was LukeluvsHanforever. Let's not even *start* on multiple account email addies and yahoo IDs, because that's enough to jump my already present headache another notch. And their domain name use. AND webpage name. Oh God....

And the thing is? You can be totally active in someone's LJ, think you know them back and forth, send each other goopy emails of love and devotion for their Luke and Han Romance Epics, then see the chat name and *blank out*. Because for about five seconds or so, you have *no* clue who this StarDestroyer person is, even if she *is* the only one in history that totally agreed with you that Luke should have Chewbacca's babies in the new movie. And how the hell does she know that you hate your new haircolor and are working on Luke/Chewy *right now*?

It gets weirder.

Chat rooms--let's just combine yahoo, AIM, and IRC for this, and say, chat rooms in general. As a rule, you think you all mostly know each other pretty well--you know VictorPassionFlower is also lj user kittiesandpuppiesrule and writes as DieLanadienow, but then, whoosh, ten other names you don't know, and they all say 'hey person!' 'cause they know you, and you go breathe into a paper bag and wonder if any of them were in chat that night when you had a toothache and you were saying--

--*grins* Mean Things.

Or maybe you didn't have a toothache after all.

Because you don't have the connection of AIM handle and LJ name. And writer-name. And...yeah. You get the idea.

Or maybe that's just me.

Someone (Jack? Pearl-o? Jessica?) called for roll call, so everyone introed themselves by psuedonym and lj username, which was coolness because that's when you get to stop panicking about imagined things and panic about the real things.

But you know, the day you realize you're juggling three seperate names to represent your real self? *nod* And you have to remember the five names Edwina goes by? Yeah. That totally makes fandom a whole new kind of adventure.

Of course, it all gets better the day you realize you have no idea what Edwina's actual sex is, because it's never come up in conversation and the pronoun issues take effect....

Multiple Identities

It's not so much a problem as it is an amusing outshoot of our concept of privacy on the web. I probably know the real names of about half of my AIM buddylist, but God help me if I can possibly connect most of them instantly, because of that half, probably half Do Not Want This To Be Public Information, and man, *that* can be a little bit of a trip into weirdness if you forget....

Jenn: Janie! I read this story by Pru you just have to see....
Room: Who is Janie?
Janie (in another window) Shut up, Jenn.

This has happened to me.

*sighs* I am sometimes *not* a good friend. but my memory sucks. You kind of have to be resigned to the idea that I'm either going to have to take notes or you'll have to remind me for the first two weeks so I don't get dissonance disorder and start calling you Charlie in a panic of non-remembering.

*thinks*

In some ways, Real Names--names used offline by which the general population, the grocer, the busboy, and the homeless man on fifth know you--are kind of like some kind of gold standard to some in fandom, though not so much now. I get the idea behind it--for some, fandom is escape and hell if you want to drag Irene's RL issues into The Big Gay Krycek/Mulder Love that username Krycekwhore1013 wallows in so happily. And earlier in fandom--hell, even now--not so many wanted The One Who Wrote the Nine Hundred Page Pornotopia of Harry/Draco Passion to be connected to the person whose real life may not exactly allow for it. And yeah, I've heard the urbanfandom legends of the ficsters who left their harddrives to their fannish buddies after death so their families wouldn't know about their online activities, and about people who out other writers' real names in spite--I remember that one story from usenet, actually, which was Way Before I Knew It Was a Bad Idea To Use Your Real Name. Back *way* in the day, which should worry me but I honestly can't imagine anyone bored enough to go through four years of backusenet posts on three differnet newsgroups just to find out something that is inherently without value.

So it was--well, weird, to tie this up a bit, when I read the story with the wrong name, even though it was the right one. The name by which I know you *is* you to me. The fandom name you give, like it or not, is the identifier for you to the majority who don't know you personally. And it is, in this venue, more legit than your real name is or can be.

Kind of cool in a way. Like something out of Grimm, when true names had power in them. Irene, say, sells insurance in the real world, but in this place, in this time, Krychekwhore1013 can make a fandom stop breathing when she posts her lastest story or latest meta.

I guess I sometimes wonder, though, when someone thinks of themself, here and now, in this place, in this time, what name they see. 'Cause when I think of it (and I try not to, meta gives me indigestion) Jenn Seperis is truer than anything else I could ever use. I kind of like that.


You're smart. It makes my brain hurt.

Just for the record.

*snickers* Considering it's YOUR FAULT that I got all thoughtful about this....

*gives Tylenol and Faith to play with*

This was a *very* interesting read. Of course, seeing as how I'm Beth in real life and bethbethbeth here on LJ and all my email addies are some form of Beth (well...except for a seven year old sockpuppet creation that never actually said a word *g*), I'm probably not as big a chaos-causer as *some*.

Although...hmm...I *am* canadaphile on AIM, so...I take it all back. *g*

*laughs* I know myself too well. I stuck with jenn and seperis everywhere, except as my days as a reviewer of fanfic in a Fandom a Long Time Ago, and that didn't last long. I *knew* I'd forget if I wasn't paying attention.

Though in retrospect, it might not have been the brightest idea if I ever wanted to keep anything about my online activities a secret, because man, I'm so easily traced through my fandoms it's almost sad. If anyone would ever *bother*.

There's only the finest of lines between my RL and OL names, which is something I think about periodically. But, you know, not enough to do anything about it. :)

I do have a tendency to assign someone a name and stick with it. So even if Didi becomes Eugenia Schoenborn, I still think of her as Didi, although on good days my tongue redirects to the right name.

And I just think of you as Jenn, and recognize Seperis as also-Jenn.

Hrm. I was gonna actually get meta on you, but my brain said no. Too much thinking this week. *g*

*nod* Exactly. And my capacity is about three names at very best--one for AIM, one for LJ, one for stories. After that, I start getting a little loopy and cognitive dissonance is *so* boring.

It just makes me think if it's easy for people to slip into that name as naturally as they do the one they were given at birth. Just because you give a name to yourself doesn't make it less you than the other--it's how others address you, think of you, and while it might not define the inner you, it sure as hell defines the person that fandom/online at large sees, and that's as much you as anything else.

Speaking in general 'you' here, btw. *hugs*

I really, *really* need to get back to porn. Head hurts. Grrr.

*sends more hugs, 'cause*

I have been very excited that so far, I am Josselin in most places and am not forced to have many names. Except for aim. Damn, that kind of kills my joy. Oh well.

Aww! Josselin was taken? Bastards.

Seperis is, too. That completley shocked me, and is one of the reasons I don't use it on AIM. Or really, the only reason, since it belongs to someone else.

Bastard. *sniffles*

There's a reason why 99% of the time, I'm just LJC. I mean, I write under my real name, but so many people for so long have known me as LJC, that I still get weirded occasionally when someone calls me "Tara" online.

Tho, re: AOl/AIM screenames, I forget that anyone in the past 4 years has no idea "Uisgejack@aol.com" is me, since I've switched over to ljconstantine@hotmail.com almost exclusively in the last 2 years. I'd switch over to TaraLJC permanently, but that's actually the SN I use for work...

I do get all weirded now and then, tho. Like, my ex-roommate Jessica was Bingo but now she's pretty much Tzikeh everywhere--except where she's still jross.... Or a Calavicci sister.

*dies laughing*

Luckily, none of my friends, that I know of, have gone through a revolutionary name change of any sort. But honest to God, when I met evinmoonshine, it was a physical effort not to call her Dev at every opportunity.

Hmm. Tara or LJC? Honestly, I think of you in both pretty interchangeably. LJC for formal thinking, Tara for talking chat. Yes, weird. I know.

I've been victoria p. offline and on for so long... I don't know how people manage multiple pseuds for writing. I couldn't. My ego is too large. I want everyone to know that that story is Mine and is By Me.

When I started online, with dad's handy-dandy email address because we basically have the same name, it never occurred to me to use a pseud, and by the time I started writing fic, I didn't want to.

The only reason I'm not victoria_p on AIM is because it was already taken, and Shoe is a real life nickname I answer to.

Even after having met a bunch of fellow fans, I still think of most of them by their LJ names (and some of 'em I never did get their real names, anyway, in all the noise and alcohol), and yeah, it can be confusing. But I usually manage to figure out who's who when it's important.

And I still think most of the people who have me friended on LJ must think I look like Xander. *snerk*

I don't know how people manage multiple pseuds for writing. I couldn't. My ego is too large. I want everyone to know that that story is Mine and is By Me.

Oh hell yes.

I know why people don't, but from the first, I couldn't really imagine not using my name straight through.

So I went my real name a lot, with or without umlauts, and yeah, kinda stuck with it all over the web at this point. But the weird thing is that I've totally come to identify myself with "plum" to the point where I geek when I drive past Plum Street.

As for other people it's just a matter of time -- if I know their real name early enough, I can probably arrange my brain around both personas, but most of the time I just go with what I know the best. Though dude, in real life, I quickly lose patience in dealing with online names because I feel incredibly dorky refering to someone as Krychekwhore in person.

"Hey, Krychekwhore, do you want donuts or danish?!"

Yeah, not so much. *g*

As for other people it's just a matter of time -- if I know their real name early enough, I can probably arrange my brain around both personas, but most of the time I just go with what I know the best. Though dude, in real life, I quickly lose patience in dealing with online names because I feel incredibly dorky refering to someone as Krychekwhore in person.

*collapses* Oh, to see the day come....

*still laughing*

I'm feeling left out. I didn't even *think* about using a pseudonym online, so just set everything up with my name. It's me. It's unique enough, except for that bitca in Tacoma who wouldn't respond to me in AIM, that anyone checking on me could find me on the computer.

Oh well. The only circumstance that would bring me trouble, that I can think of anyways, would be some future employer, and if they don't want me because of harmless internet interaction, then I don't want to work for them anyway! So there.

I'm feeling left out. I didn't even *think* about using a pseudonym online, so just set everything up with my name. It's me.

*pets* It's okay. Seperis only exists because when I was creating my geocities site, I needed a username and surprise surprise, jenn was taken. Who woulda thought?

But God, there are *so many jenns* that sometimes, I wish I'd just gone seperis completely. *sighs*

I totally get what you mean about the names thing. Some of my friends laugh at me, because I *know* they're real names, but I'll insist on calling them by the name I first knew them as. Especially if I know their real name isn't public knowledge-- so I don't slip up.

And it's actually one of the reasons I just went with Caro. Because I don't think I could think of myself as not!Caro.

There was a point somewhere in here.

oh well. *huggles jenn* I like you.

Some of my friends laugh at me, because I *know* they're real names

That's supposed to be "their". pearl_o, feel free to mock me.

I wish I'd have thought of a cool pseudonym when I first joined fandoms and starting writing fic. In the first fandom I joined, I was thirteen and totally used my real name. First and last. My mother found me that way and I got chewed up one side and down the other, not because I'd written a story where Lois and Clark were at it, but because I'd used my real name on the internet.

Since then, I've just used a form of Katherine. Kaytee in DC fic, Katie110380 in a few other fandoms I've been involved with, and lately, misskatherine because all the others were taken and I couldn't think of something to take on to Katherine. For awhile there, I toyed with KitKat then I came to my senses, lol.




*nod*

I kind of wish I had, but with my luck, I would have chosen something disturbingly Trekkie that would embarass me now. Plus, other people can pull off the entire I am DarkVader5! I can't. People call me seperis sometimes, I intellectually know they are referring to me, but it's *still* a bit trippy to see it without jenn at the beginning or outside of LJ.

Cognitive dissonance--another side effect of constant LJ use. *grins*

I went by Ophelia exclusively a few years back, while other people on the message board would have bizarre screen names but use real names in chat. It got to the point that when I met these people in RL they were all Jerry and Lisa and Christina but no matter how many times I told them my real name, I was still Ophelia.

I changed my sn after that, to something I wouldn't mind being permanently associated with in someone else's head.


I had that same problem back when I was in anime fandom. Yeah, it's easy to remember that "RobotDestroyer" is really Eric and "Queen Crystal Wolf" is really Lisa, but when someone goes by, say, "Julie," it's SO HARD to re-adjust when you meet them IRL and find out that "Julie's" real name is Jane-- and Jane *really hates it* when you can't seem to remember her real name and keep on calling her "Julie."

Luckily for the local slasher crowd, I don't mind being called "Livia--" I actually think it's a lot snappier than my real name. Although then you get into the issue where I *identify* with that name, but haven't quite gotten used to answering to it in *spoken* conversation. Leading to things like "Hey, Livia. Livia. Livia! Hey, REALNAME!!"

me: "What!?"

etc.


Interesting. I agree; people having multiple identities online can be horribly confusing. I had the same problem with AIM screen names until I found out that it allows you to write little notes about each user on your buddy list, which I'm currently using as a cheat sheet.

I came into fandom in my mid-teens and only very belatedly realized I shouldn't have used my real name as much as I did. Nowadays I try to keep it simple by using some variation of 'nepthys' for both LJ and AIM. Occasionally it gets weird when I meet people I knew from before -- I feel like I'm being dishonest somehow approaching them under a different name. I do try to clue them in when possible. :)

The name by which I know you *is* you to me. The fandom name you give, like it or not, is the identifier for you to the majority who don't know you personally. And it is, in this venue, more legit than your real name is or can be.

Well said. :)

Nowadays I try to keep it simple by using some variation of 'nepthys' for both LJ and AIM. Occasionally it gets weird when I meet people I knew from before -- I feel like I'm being dishonest somehow approaching them under a different name. I do try to clue them in when possible. :)

*grins* Dissonant moment in the last year regarding Firefly--I met a chick from that fandom. New name and handle and *fandom*, and man, it threw me for a serious loop for a bit.

I've often wondered how people feel when they change psuedonyms between fandoms--or for that matter, change at all. Does it feel weird for awhile, or differnet?

I keep wanting to survey, but my questions would just sound too weird. *grins*

Multiple pseuds creep me out. More than that, when someone changes a pseud and then pretends they don't know you? Creeptastic. I stick to Destina, for better or worse. On LJ, in chat, on IM, on stories. I'm just me.

*blinks* That *is* creepy. I wonder why, though--bad former fandom, or--hmm. How odd.

Yep. Jenn Seperis is what I'm stuck with, as names go. It's just less confusing to *me*.

And I am horrible with the names of RL people, so, often, I just have to give up on the on-line folks. Sometimes I cheat and look up LJ usernames, webpages to have an idea why this name is in my AIM buddy list.


Re: The name thing.

You can *do* that? How? That would save me angst like you woulnd't believe....

I use the same name for everything online, 'cause that's who I am in the wide world of the internet. When I met people in person who I knew from online, it was difficult to recall their actual names, and most of the time I stuck with online IDs, because that was *who they were*.

Yes! Exactly! God, do I know *that* feeling.

Phew. I'm not just weirdly neurotic.