what’s in a name

I’ve thought about changing my online name for a while now. Maybe seeing Mari changing hers a couple of months ago gave me the much needed little push to seriously consider this move.

The thing is, I’m not the angsty 20-something anymore who started this blog in 2011. Back then, I was afraid potential employers would find me on the web and use it as a reason not to hire me but the story begins before that. This whole fake name started when I signed up for Twitter to follow Neil Patrick Harris #truestory and I only chose Wilhelmina Upton because it was the main character in a favourite book back then. I still love the book/character/name but it isn’t me.

One thing Germany is big on is anonymity and privacy rights on the internet which is important but comes with it’s struggles. Before I became a contributing member of the interwebs, I was mostly exposed to the horror stories. The bad date ones. Where strangers from the internet stalk you, kidnap and rape you etc.

For the longest time I was afraid to put a picture of myself on here. Or disclose in what country I reside but it’s not like you couldn’t get to that information anyway if you had the skills and really wanted it.

Four years later I’ve seen a lot. I won’t say I’ve seen it all because it would be a lie. I don’t suppose you have ever seen it all (all is also not covered by witnessing a lesbian wedding #justsaying). My experience on the internet has been vastly positive, I have gained amazing friends and people I talk to every day. People I have met in real life and so on.

It just didn’t make sense anymore to cling to this pseudonym. To hide behind the name of Willie because I don’t have anything to hide aside from a few posts ranting about my family and even fewer posts about work — or better yet — certain aspects of work. I’ve grown up a lot on this blog and while you can go digging through the archive, I’m not embarrassed by a lot of it. I’ve always been open and honest because I just can’t help myself.

This morning I reached out to the only person whom I knew of who did this change though to a much bigger extend, changing her URL and Twitter handles etc.

mari tweet

And she is right. I don’t think anyone cares about this aside from myself. It reminds me a little bit of work where I am slowly growing out of wanting and needing my safety net. The same has happened on the internet. I’m not afraid of this online precedes anymore. I don’t need the safety of anonymity anymore.

Like I mentioned up top, the URL will stay the same, as will most of my handles on social media because they are short and I like them but Willie has been officially phased out.

My name is Karina and I’m here to stay.

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  • YAAAAAAAAAAY!

  • YAY! I’m excited for you :)

    • Thank you, also for the support on Twitter :-)

  • Tim

    I’m sort of learning what she went through as well. I don’t know why I even bothered with anonymoity. It all seems so silly in retrospect.

    • It really does and I don’t know why I bothered with it this long.

  • Vanessa

    Cool! It’s funny how one’s thoughts on anonymity and keeping ‘the real world’ and the online world separate can change over time.
    And I still think of you as either name, depending on the situation. I doubt that’ll change. :)

    • Oh, it really doesn’t matter what you call me :D But it’s no “pssst, don’t mention Karina on Twitter” anymore. Simple as that.

  • Heeeeyyyy
    Karina!
    I love that name and I love this.

    • Yay indeed. My Mom did a good job with picking the name.

  • I will definitely still think of you as Willie for a while, this is going to throw me off for a minute :) I was the same way for a long time, except I’ve always used my first name (mainly because it’s super common). I only JUST started putting pictures on my blog within the last maybe 6-8 months, and that feels like a huge deal. Being authentic and still protecting your personal right to privacy can be a fine line on the internet. Good luck, and congratulations on making such a personal decision!

    • I don’t even know why I was so afraid of using my real name, even just the first name. For a long time, my online and offline lives were completely seperated from another.

  • Return to the ’80s (Paul)

    I love your name, Karina! :-)

  • cupitonians

    Welcome to the internet, Karina :)