It happened again recently.
On social media, someone wanted to make reference to me by name. But, they didn’t get it right. Instead, they used my social media identity instead.
Now, this doesn’t happen to people who use their full name as their identity online. When I got into all this stuff, my username was actually given to me. Can you remember ENOREO? Educational Network of Ontario.
To get an ENOREO account, you had to register and they provided a username and login. Typically, the username that they gave you was created by taking the first four letters of your first name and contatenate these with the first four letters of your last name. Hence, I became dougpete. It was my login and my email name and my identity.
Since then, it’s mostly stuck. It’s kind of handy since there is only one dougpete when you do an internet search so I can always easily find myself.
But, it’s sometimes difficult for others to get it right. I’ve been known as:
- Mr. Pete
- Doug Pete
- Dough (that one really hurt)
- Mr. Dougpete
It’s kind of interesting to see it happen when it does. Even more interesting is that I can sometimes find it since it doesn’t easily turn up in a search.
My only regret was not realizing that I might want to have a Gmail account with that naming convention. Someone else has it.
Hindsight is always 100%.
But social media identity can’t be ignored. I still remember being in a room at an ECOO Conference where Rodd Lucier introduced me to the keynote speaker “courosa”. I remember noting that I was introduced to the social media presence and not the actual person.
The only silver lining is that email seems to be dying (at least in my little world). Social media has messaging features that make a separate email account less important. Now, I mostly use it for digital subscriptions and collecting spam.
But it’s an interesting thing to ponder. I think we do know which social media resources will have legs and be with us in the long run. Should the advice be to get in and reserve your preferred name early and that way you have it when you really need/want it?
I’d be interested in your thoughts and experiences.