Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Rules of Engagement:

FB says you have to use your real name - most of you know it is not Leeper. I have filed to have it changed legally however, on April 15th. I do NOT want to use my real name on FB. Back in the MySpace days, I had a fellow who had no picture on his profile write and tell me he had come into my office and checked me out. I still have no idea who it was and he could be somebody who comes in every week and deals with me. I have several gentleman (I hope) customers who insist on dealing with me and me only. My real name is on my work email, my work business cards, my name and full address are in the phone book. I have never made an effort to hide who or where I really am on the internet. That episode got me a little creeped out...So when I signed up for FB I used the name I planned to have eventually. I don't list the name of my workplace, although if someone searched enough of my local friends he could probably figure it out. Well, "eventually" has come and I have filed to have my name changed. FB says that because the rules require you to use your real name that if you want to change your name you have to send them a copy of a government issued document with your name change on it. That won't work for me because I want to change from my soon-to-be-real-but-really-fake-name to avoid stalker to a new avoid-the-stalker name.

A woman at work got married and her name changed on FB the very next day. I asked her if they required her to send in a copy of her marriage certificate or something and she said no, when she changed her status from "engaged to John Doe," to "married to John Doe" it asked her if she changed her name and let her change it right then! Sooo.... to make a short story long, I decided to become engaged. April 15th or so, right after a visit to the courthouse I will become Mrs. Harry Golightly, aka Hope E. Golightly. The irony of it all is that FB requires no legal proof of your name or real identity when you first sign up - that kind of pisses me off. If someone had a really serious stalker ... shudder.. well, bad things HAVE happened because of misuse of FB and it's sad that the victims are the ones who follow the "rules" and put their real names, addresses and workplaces on there and may be putting themselves in danger. Because of my previous experience, I choose not to do that.

I am a witness that you can become in real life, long-term friends through the internet with people who at first are anonymous, faceless words on a screen. I've met so many of the Folk of the Fringe, the Wild Women, and even men off of dating sites and have real friends from this way. FB is one forum however, where I am not comfortable revealing certain things about myself. There are very few people who are my "friends" on FB whom I have not met in real life. Those are people whom I have "known" online many years, however, and I have no fear, nor regret about them knowing who or where I am, nor anything about me.

Having a pseudonym on FB has made it hard for some people to find me who have been searching and as I have searched out a few I realized that. Changing it again will probably still make that hard, but it is a kind of control I need to have considering my residual fear of previous (current? status unknown.) stalker finding me in my workplace.


Emily said...

I use my real name on Facebook, but I have it set to private so only people who I am friends with can see anything besides my profile picture and my name.

Miguel said...

Oh the joys of Facebook... I also have mine set up so that anyone who is not a friend only sees my name, profile pic and nothing else. Also, recently a friend showed me how to make lists so I can post things that only certain people can see and others can't, but that's a lot of work, but it is nice to know there are options if I want to invest the time. Until then I'm stuck posting only the mundane daily stuff...