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.
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.