What’s in a name?

Hmmm, I just tried to sign up to Instagram again. Now, I know that I don’t own the name NomadWarMachine, but I use it across so many platforms that I identify with it as strongly as I do with my “real” name.

But somebody else has taken it (stolen, I am really thinking) it on Instagram so I can’t have it. Pout. So after sulking for a while I tried to sign up with the name I use for Skype (another place where a usurper stole my nomad name).

But somebody else has stolen that as well. And to add insult to injury they have never even posted there.

This is not funny – this is my identity! I’m trying to laugh, but it matters. Well, not the second name so much, but my “real” social media identity.  That’s me, and when the name’s not available for me to use then I don’t want to use that platform.  Gah.


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6 Responses to What’s in a name?

  1. I think identity in digital spaces is always important, and I have had the same thing with my name at different places, and felt left off-kilter a result. I don’t have a solution. Just empathy.

    • NomadWarMachine says:

      Yup, I was thinking about you as I was writing this – as your name is also so much a part of how I think about you.

  2. Online identity is complex. The world is so full of people that any name we might use to identify ourselves might be taken or “stolen” from us as you describe.

    Some of us use real names in some form, but that’s very hard for most who have to become something like “Janie2378” because “Janie” is so common in English-speaking cultures.

    It is also clearly frustrating that a seemingly unique handle like yours is assumed by more than one person online. It identifies *you* to many of us who see it on more than one social medium.

    That I’m reading this post after doing today’s word of the day, onomast (one who studies the use of personal names), is clearly coincidental.

  3. Wendy says:

    When I first started using social media I wanted to use Wenta…..but it’s some consulting firm in the UK (pout) and some crew that make pottery.

  4. Simon Ensor says:

    Hmm. Well I suppose I signed up to pile of platforms (which I didn’t always use) and stuck my avatar and @sensor63 to stake a claim (or like a dog pissing on a wall) However @sensor63 was a way in a sense to dehumanize and deindividualize myself. A sensor is potentially a bot, a dumb machine, an android like R2D2, so I wouldn’t mind so much having an army of sensor bots sensor63 sensor99 sensor19 with the same or different coloured avatars. From time to time I play around with that idea.

    Yes I shall (when I have the time) create some pretty random (like me) sensorbots I think Amy Burvall made a bot of her own.

    Also Touches of sense…or Taches de sens have particular dissociative identities.

    So that’s my pinch of salt.



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