The heroes in the matrix all have cool names; the names they have chosen for themselves. Tom Anderson is Neo, and you have Morphius and Trinity too whose given names we never know. Online I am anotherschwab, the name I chose for my first web based email account because I got tired of searching for an available combination of Andrew and Schwab. I did not want to be aschwab73 or atschwab10 or even andrewschwab2. After a dozen tries I finally said to myself, I guess I am just anotherschwab and that was the name I chose. It is the name that has stuck with me online for over 15 years.
Are we too becoming like the characters in the matrix, known online not by our given names but rather by our chosen names? Google Andrew Schwab and you get a singer in the band Project 86 as the top hit. Its not me. Google anotherschwab and you get my profile on twitter right as the top result. At this point I can’t even imagine using any other name online.
And what does this mean for my daughter’s online life? Should I be creating accounts for her now when she is three to be sure she gets the name given to her at birth or should I let her have the same experience of finding her own name? Of choosing her identity on the net and so walking the same path as Neo, Morphius, Trinity and anotherschwab?