About four years ago around this time, I found myself becoming more of a fan of anime. I went around looking for a place to meet other people online, hang out, and talk about it (amongst other things). I ended up joining a forum where I would spend a couple years, but the important part was just starting out, just taking a step into the unknown (*cue original Star Trek music*). How did I want to present myself to people. I had never joined a forum for its own sake (usually it was because I wanted something else the website had). I wanted to be humble, a mild individual, someone with a respectable opinion. (Me? Humble? What?) After all, that’s how I saw myself with real people (who am I kidding), though that says nothing about how stoutly -to say it ambiguously- I presented my opinion.
During that time, I was just beginning to epistemology and learning the philosophy that has now become the firm sediment of my belief system. This all coming together, I decided to pick something which I thought best embodied those things: a blip in time. That was me, a blip in time, a passing moment, … a chronological dot. The first name I would use for various things, including a still-active DeviantArt account where I post my casual artwork.
Just the phrase, “a blip in time”, sounded quite humble to me. Unfortunately what shot it down was a Google search by which I discovered someone else had used the username. … *sigh*
In an effort to be unique online such that people wouldn’t mistake me for someone else, I decided to use a different username and effectively make it my own. Maintaining the humble side, I kept the same theme, but ironically I picked the version that sounded a little more awesome: chronological dot.
And that’s where I’m at today. If query “chronologicaldot” or “chronological dot” in any search engine, most of the first page results are usually me.
Some of you might find it alittle ironic that I, an internet privacy advocate, would want a username that so distinctly points me out amongst all the people online. Here’s the thing: I want people to see what I show them. I have no problem with people seeing what I present to the internet. But things like browser history, etc., I don’t necessarily want attached to me. Not only that, it’s unlikely that, if I did use another username somewhere, you would know its me. In fact, as it is, most of you know next to nothing about me – only enough to where, if you were interested in hiring me for something, you would have the details you need and nothing more.
Where is this Going?
The nice thing about having a consistent username in most places is so that people know if it’s you or an impostor. When in doubt, they can easily look up your homepage and ask if some bit of information about you or what you said is correct. I suppose this is only useful for certain people at this time, but in an age of growing ambiguity on the internet, it’s nice to have a starting point for your digital identity, especially since pictures are not only unreliable, they are also not a good idea. I suppose one could claim one’s identity was stolen for several years and they were misrepresented online, but if worst comes to worst, hopefully people will realize that the internet does not represent real life. You can see my post on electronic signatures for more on that.