In recent weeks, I’ve been toying with the idea of changing my Twitter handle from its current blog-related one (HoneyBrownBlues, obviously) to my real name. My reasoning for this is mainly due to my new book – I figured, in the rare case that someone actually likes the book and wants to find out more information on me, they can easily find me on Twitter by searching for my name.
Yes, the new book has already made me delusional.
I used to shield my identity as much as possible online – hiding behind my band name, just going by Carl in my blog posts, or by adding a ridiculous surname (Carl Fantastico, for one). When I did campaign work in 2008 – and ended up doing many, many newspaper and TV interviews – I gave my name as Charles Chambers. There were two reasons for this, one much more important than the other:
1) I had a government job. Especially with the campaign work, keeping my real name out of the papers was crucial. Plus, I just didn’t want my co-workers – already a nosy bunch, as is the case with every government worker – to know any more about me than they needed to.
2) My Dad and I have the same name. I know that he Googles himself, which means that our Google results blend together, which means that – if I were posting stuff under my full name – blog posts about fucking to music or Tweets about the ass-eating abilities of Midnight Oil fans would pop up in his search results.
It’s been almost a year now since I ditched my government job for a life that hews much closer with my personal ideal (which mostly involves travel, sleeping in, writing, and being happy a lot). In that time, I’ve also realized that I just don’t have anything to hide, so there’s really no point in keeping my full name out of the online world (this is the attitude that Google and Facebook desperately want you to buy into so that you’ll stop bugging them whenever they tweak their policies – this works for me in my case, but I certainly understand why others would take exception). Plus, I have a book out now, which means my full name is already out in the open. And my Dad can surely overlook – or at least not bring up with me, or show my Mom – the times when our shared name finds itself attached to a Tweet about swallowing Dierks Bentley’s semen. At least, I hope so.
That’s why, on Sunday, I decided to change my Twitter handle to @CarlPolgar. The change is simple enough – you go into your Twitter settings, type in the new name, it tells you that it’s available, and you hit ‘save’. I was expecting it to be a breeze. I was not expecting to find out that I was almost three years too late in securing my own name.
@CarlPolgar has been taken since May of 2009. There is absolutely no way that my Dad would have done this. Given the rarity of our last name – at least, outside of the world of chess – I don’t know who would.
So now I’m fairly pissed. And confused – very confused. I would be more accepting of this if @CarlPolgar were actually using his Twitter account for something. Instead, he has posted just once, most likely – as with a good chunk of the Twitter accounts out there – shortly after joining.
Here is the sole bit of insight that @CarlPolgar’s given to the Twittersphere:
For now, @HoneyBrownBlues will keep its name, though I ditched the ‘Fantastico’ from my profile and went with my real name. I still might change it later to something stupid like @Carl_Polgar or something like that. I don’t know – I’ll give it further thought once my bitterness subsides.