What's in a Name?

4.09.2015

While I haven't really advertised it, I've never really kept it a secret that Zoey isn't my real name. (Though it might as well be.) Zoey Talbon is most definitely not anything close to my real name, which is why I don't mind having it plastered basically everywhere. My emails, my twitter, my blogger profile, etc. I've never seen anything wrong with this; it makes me incredibly uncomfortable to have my real name everywhere. For the longest time, I didn't even have my full last name on my personal facebook.

It's not like my real name is the rarest thing on the planet. But I've only ever met one other person with it before, though I definitely see it quite often in the author community. But not using my real name allows me to comfortably say that, yes, I live in Wisconsin. Yes, I'm a Biology major hoping to go to veterinary school. Yes, I do this and I do that. It allows me to speak more freely about my personal life. And I like getting personal with you guys, because I like to see that from other bloggers. Books may be an incredibly huge part of our lives, but we are still more than books. I like to know what other things you guys do in your free time. To see the real personality behind the blog.

I could probably comfortably do all this with my real name. (Maybe. Actually, probably not.) I don't really have a particular reason not to, besides the fact that when I was maybe 13 and started all this, I just really didn't want this one girl from middle school to find me because I didn't like her.

And I will fully admit that a lot of this actually stems from the fact that I hate my real name. Any time I go to Starbucks or into the American Eagle dressing rooms and they ask my name? I say Zoey. It's just so much easier than repeating my name four times and needing to spell it out for them. And there are far more complicated names out there, so I can't even imagine what it must be like for some of you. In Latin class, when we got to choose our names, I went with Zoe on instinct. And it's funny now, because Zoe in Latin literally means "life." As in this other life I have, here on the internet - except not really. Everything is the same except for my name. (And the fact that my friends in real life have no idea about any of this, but that's because I'm just uncomfortable about everything.)

I was thinking about how no one's ever really questioned it when I had to give my mailing address in which I have to give my real name. Is this because they really don't care, or simply because it may seem rude and/or intrusive to ask? Do I just think that everyone uses their real name because I've never really paused to think otherwise? Is this actually a normal thing? DOES ANYTHING IN THIS POST MAKE SENSE?

Do you use your real name online? Do you find it dishonest that I don't? I would love any of your comments!


15 comments on "What's in a Name?"
  1. I really don't mind whether people use their real name or not online. I do, it's just something I did naturally, I wasn't too bothered about hiding or being or doing something different, the things I use, the social sites and my blog, they're mine, I've done it, I've designed it, I've created everything on it, therefore I feel comfortable and confident saying 'this is me, this is mine' - but I've never been bothered if others don't. You go by Zoey, is Zoey is who you are here, on this blog, and you doing whatever it takes to make you feel more comfortable, happier and generally better about yourself and enjoy what you're doing, then you should do it, always!<3

    ReplyDelete
  2. I've never been bothered whether the name people use online is their given name or not, it doesn't feel like lying or dishonesty, just a personal choice. I've always used my real name on everything - email, blog twitter etc. the only exception is when I got married. For personal things I use my married name but because the blog and twitter was all started with my maiden name I've left it as it is.
    My only slight moment of hesitation is when I know someone by their blogger/online name and then meet them in real life and they introduce themselves with their given name, it takes me a while to work out what I should be calling them! I love the idea though of creating a whole blog and internet space and new name to go along with that, it is a space carved out just for you and in some ways makes it even more unique. :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yeah, there have definitely been people who know me as Zoey, but then we're friends on facebook and it gets all kinds of complicated, especially when they're trying to wish me happy birthday!

      Delete
  3. I am comfortable using my first name online because it is quite common but I don't post my surname.

    I love the name Zoey and if that is the name you are most comfortable with, why not :-) I know a lot of bloggy friends who don't use their real identities for differing reasons and it works, I don't think it is being dishonest unless you are using someone else's identity.

    A great post! Sharon – Obsession with Books

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yeah, I can definitely say that I came up with this name all on my own. I certainly hope I'm not stealing anyone's identity!

      Delete
  4. I don't really care one way or the other. Amy is my real name (Aya is my middle), but I've definitely limited posting my last name. Personally, it is a privacy issue/a professional issue. Amy is not an uncommon name. Neither is Aya if you're in the right part of the world. So I really don't have an issue being addressed as either. However, my last name is VERY unique. So for safety, I generally limit my last name on the number of social media sites I use it on. & Honestly, although I'm not ashamed of my blog, I'd rather keep it separate from my future professional life once I get a full time job.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That's definitely another thing - I just like to keep this completely separate from the rest of my life, though I have absolutely no idea why. I WISH I could say to keep it away from my professional life, haha, but I think I'm just self conscious.

      Delete
  5. My name is definitely a headturner and of course it isn't my name. "Nova Lee Zaiden?" I would LOVE to have a Z last name, but unfortunately I don't... Mine is Neo :(

    I use Nova as a PERSONALITY more than just a name. It isn't like "oh I'm just going under a fake name for security" and while that's great, it isn't the main reason. Who I am in real life is a little too blunt for anyone's liking so I use Nova as a way to improve on my personality (:

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Totally agree with you that I feel like I can kind of be a slightly different person on here - less shy, more willing to speak my opinion. I totally don't think I could do that if I was going under my real name.

      Delete
  6. I am with you 100% on this one. Liza Barrett isn't my real name --- it's similar enough and has meaning to me as it is, but I decided to create an online pseudonym for 2 main reasons: 1) Putting myself out there was new to me, and like you, I'm a lot more comfortable sharing things from my life when I don't feel like just anyone will be able to look me up; and 2) I wanted to have that separation --- blogging is a way for me to get away from the rest of my life, and having that different name makes it a little more obvious to my brain that I really HAVE shifted gears.

    I've wondered about the address thing too >.<

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. AH! FINALLY ANOTHER ONE! I AM NOT ALONE! That's a really interesting thing that I've never thought about - that using a different name kind of helps you shift into that blogging mindset a little better.

      Delete
  7. I think it's great that you go by a different name online. Wish I'd thought of that when I started blogging. However, I did think to give myself some anonymity by wearing wigs in all my profile pictures for the blog. I figured it went with the whole "anonymous" part of the name plus I figured if someone saw me on the street they'd be looking for a girl with green or purple hair. ;)

    My personal facebook is a bizarre mash-up of my husband's and my first initial and then the last name is a mix between our last name and a jingle. Ha! I did that because I was tired of random people from previous schools friend requesting me. People who either never talked to me or picked on me in school. :\ No thanks. So I made it harder for them to find me.

    As for the whole mailing address thing goes, I don't think it's strange at all. If I could give a different name and still get my mail I would. I don't want people to know my name AND where I live but my mail is jacked up as it is so I don't want to add to it. I've hosted giveaways where the name they entered into the rafflecopter wasn't even the same as the name they gave me for the address. I didn't question it. Besides, what do I care if they changed their name for the rafflecopter or are having me send the gift to someone else. They won it, they can have it sent to whomever they'd like.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. RAFFLECOPTER! I DIDN'T EVEN THINK ABOUT THAT! Totally forgot how weird it must be when they see that "Zoey T" won and then I send them my address and it's like...nope. Not even close.

      I feel like Facebook is the ultimate place where you REALLY have to decide whether to use your real name or mix it up a little. It's just way too easy to find you these days on FB. Which some people like, I suppose. The hair thing was really a great idea!

      Delete
  8. I think ti's your right to use a fake name if using your real one makes you uncomfortable! Especially with some of the things that have been going on, you want to feel safe online. I personally have never felt too many qualms about sharing my name and general information online. That's probably naive of me, but I'm not going to be writing bashy reviews and hopefully no one wants to seek me out and murder me otherwise.

    Aw, you should tell your friends! I didn't for a while, and still get kind of weird when I tell new people about it, but people are often impressed that you take so much time and energy to develop something like this. :)

    Rachel @ Paper Cuts

    ReplyDelete

4.09.2015

What's in a Name?


While I haven't really advertised it, I've never really kept it a secret that Zoey isn't my real name. (Though it might as well be.) Zoey Talbon is most definitely not anything close to my real name, which is why I don't mind having it plastered basically everywhere. My emails, my twitter, my blogger profile, etc. I've never seen anything wrong with this; it makes me incredibly uncomfortable to have my real name everywhere. For the longest time, I didn't even have my full last name on my personal facebook.

It's not like my real name is the rarest thing on the planet. But I've only ever met one other person with it before, though I definitely see it quite often in the author community. But not using my real name allows me to comfortably say that, yes, I live in Wisconsin. Yes, I'm a Biology major hoping to go to veterinary school. Yes, I do this and I do that. It allows me to speak more freely about my personal life. And I like getting personal with you guys, because I like to see that from other bloggers. Books may be an incredibly huge part of our lives, but we are still more than books. I like to know what other things you guys do in your free time. To see the real personality behind the blog.

I could probably comfortably do all this with my real name. (Maybe. Actually, probably not.) I don't really have a particular reason not to, besides the fact that when I was maybe 13 and started all this, I just really didn't want this one girl from middle school to find me because I didn't like her.

And I will fully admit that a lot of this actually stems from the fact that I hate my real name. Any time I go to Starbucks or into the American Eagle dressing rooms and they ask my name? I say Zoey. It's just so much easier than repeating my name four times and needing to spell it out for them. And there are far more complicated names out there, so I can't even imagine what it must be like for some of you. In Latin class, when we got to choose our names, I went with Zoe on instinct. And it's funny now, because Zoe in Latin literally means "life." As in this other life I have, here on the internet - except not really. Everything is the same except for my name. (And the fact that my friends in real life have no idea about any of this, but that's because I'm just uncomfortable about everything.)

I was thinking about how no one's ever really questioned it when I had to give my mailing address in which I have to give my real name. Is this because they really don't care, or simply because it may seem rude and/or intrusive to ask? Do I just think that everyone uses their real name because I've never really paused to think otherwise? Is this actually a normal thing? DOES ANYTHING IN THIS POST MAKE SENSE?

Do you use your real name online? Do you find it dishonest that I don't? I would love any of your comments!


15 comments:

  1. I really don't mind whether people use their real name or not online. I do, it's just something I did naturally, I wasn't too bothered about hiding or being or doing something different, the things I use, the social sites and my blog, they're mine, I've done it, I've designed it, I've created everything on it, therefore I feel comfortable and confident saying 'this is me, this is mine' - but I've never been bothered if others don't. You go by Zoey, is Zoey is who you are here, on this blog, and you doing whatever it takes to make you feel more comfortable, happier and generally better about yourself and enjoy what you're doing, then you should do it, always!<3

    ReplyDelete
  2. I've never been bothered whether the name people use online is their given name or not, it doesn't feel like lying or dishonesty, just a personal choice. I've always used my real name on everything - email, blog twitter etc. the only exception is when I got married. For personal things I use my married name but because the blog and twitter was all started with my maiden name I've left it as it is.
    My only slight moment of hesitation is when I know someone by their blogger/online name and then meet them in real life and they introduce themselves with their given name, it takes me a while to work out what I should be calling them! I love the idea though of creating a whole blog and internet space and new name to go along with that, it is a space carved out just for you and in some ways makes it even more unique. :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yeah, there have definitely been people who know me as Zoey, but then we're friends on facebook and it gets all kinds of complicated, especially when they're trying to wish me happy birthday!

      Delete
  3. I am comfortable using my first name online because it is quite common but I don't post my surname.

    I love the name Zoey and if that is the name you are most comfortable with, why not :-) I know a lot of bloggy friends who don't use their real identities for differing reasons and it works, I don't think it is being dishonest unless you are using someone else's identity.

    A great post! Sharon – Obsession with Books

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yeah, I can definitely say that I came up with this name all on my own. I certainly hope I'm not stealing anyone's identity!

      Delete
  4. I don't really care one way or the other. Amy is my real name (Aya is my middle), but I've definitely limited posting my last name. Personally, it is a privacy issue/a professional issue. Amy is not an uncommon name. Neither is Aya if you're in the right part of the world. So I really don't have an issue being addressed as either. However, my last name is VERY unique. So for safety, I generally limit my last name on the number of social media sites I use it on. & Honestly, although I'm not ashamed of my blog, I'd rather keep it separate from my future professional life once I get a full time job.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That's definitely another thing - I just like to keep this completely separate from the rest of my life, though I have absolutely no idea why. I WISH I could say to keep it away from my professional life, haha, but I think I'm just self conscious.

      Delete
  5. My name is definitely a headturner and of course it isn't my name. "Nova Lee Zaiden?" I would LOVE to have a Z last name, but unfortunately I don't... Mine is Neo :(

    I use Nova as a PERSONALITY more than just a name. It isn't like "oh I'm just going under a fake name for security" and while that's great, it isn't the main reason. Who I am in real life is a little too blunt for anyone's liking so I use Nova as a way to improve on my personality (:

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Totally agree with you that I feel like I can kind of be a slightly different person on here - less shy, more willing to speak my opinion. I totally don't think I could do that if I was going under my real name.

      Delete
  6. I am with you 100% on this one. Liza Barrett isn't my real name --- it's similar enough and has meaning to me as it is, but I decided to create an online pseudonym for 2 main reasons: 1) Putting myself out there was new to me, and like you, I'm a lot more comfortable sharing things from my life when I don't feel like just anyone will be able to look me up; and 2) I wanted to have that separation --- blogging is a way for me to get away from the rest of my life, and having that different name makes it a little more obvious to my brain that I really HAVE shifted gears.

    I've wondered about the address thing too >.<

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. AH! FINALLY ANOTHER ONE! I AM NOT ALONE! That's a really interesting thing that I've never thought about - that using a different name kind of helps you shift into that blogging mindset a little better.

      Delete
  7. I think it's great that you go by a different name online. Wish I'd thought of that when I started blogging. However, I did think to give myself some anonymity by wearing wigs in all my profile pictures for the blog. I figured it went with the whole "anonymous" part of the name plus I figured if someone saw me on the street they'd be looking for a girl with green or purple hair. ;)

    My personal facebook is a bizarre mash-up of my husband's and my first initial and then the last name is a mix between our last name and a jingle. Ha! I did that because I was tired of random people from previous schools friend requesting me. People who either never talked to me or picked on me in school. :\ No thanks. So I made it harder for them to find me.

    As for the whole mailing address thing goes, I don't think it's strange at all. If I could give a different name and still get my mail I would. I don't want people to know my name AND where I live but my mail is jacked up as it is so I don't want to add to it. I've hosted giveaways where the name they entered into the rafflecopter wasn't even the same as the name they gave me for the address. I didn't question it. Besides, what do I care if they changed their name for the rafflecopter or are having me send the gift to someone else. They won it, they can have it sent to whomever they'd like.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. RAFFLECOPTER! I DIDN'T EVEN THINK ABOUT THAT! Totally forgot how weird it must be when they see that "Zoey T" won and then I send them my address and it's like...nope. Not even close.

      I feel like Facebook is the ultimate place where you REALLY have to decide whether to use your real name or mix it up a little. It's just way too easy to find you these days on FB. Which some people like, I suppose. The hair thing was really a great idea!

      Delete
  8. I think ti's your right to use a fake name if using your real one makes you uncomfortable! Especially with some of the things that have been going on, you want to feel safe online. I personally have never felt too many qualms about sharing my name and general information online. That's probably naive of me, but I'm not going to be writing bashy reviews and hopefully no one wants to seek me out and murder me otherwise.

    Aw, you should tell your friends! I didn't for a while, and still get kind of weird when I tell new people about it, but people are often impressed that you take so much time and energy to develop something like this. :)

    Rachel @ Paper Cuts

    ReplyDelete