Wednesday, 15 June 2011

My Nickname and Me

It is no big secret that my Internet presence closely reflects my In Real Life (IRL) activities. There´s no secrets, no hidden agendas; anything your read from me is pretty much what I would have told you anyway (sometimes, when asked, of course ;-)). So, why do I use a nickname, if there is actually no real reason to do so?

Two words: Internet Convention and two other words: Convenient Habit. When I first discovered the Internet (back in the old days of LYNX, Eudora and Netscape), the use of nicknames was basically mandatory: few people used their own names, also because there were restrictions on the number of characters one could use. So, I adopted a short and descriptive nickname for myself: my name Ron and `Bajor` prefixed to that. Why ´Bajor´ (which rhymes with `major´)? At that time I became fascinated with the Star Trek: Deep Space Nine series and the aliens from this planet Bajor appealed to me greatly. They still do, and I still go to SciFi conventions wearing my Bajoran Security costume, but that´s another story. So “BajorRon”, as I still have it today.

In the meantime, my name got longer due to my marriage and our decision to ´merge our names´. So, from the concise ´Ron Van Gurp` (which could be a nice nick by itself), I became Ron Rumley-Van Gurp (watch the position of the hyphen, spaces and capital letters!). I don´t think I would have made myself very popular using that name on a regular basis, beautiful as it is! So, I stayed BajorRon for all practical purposes: in forums, on blogs, and later on Twitter as well. And then there was FaceBook. After much deliberation I chose to use my full name there. Predominantly, so that my friends who know my name but not my nick can find me there. So, in short, there are no beans to spill: BajorRon is Ron Rumley-Van Gurp and vice versa.

Now, many people feel they should guard and protect their real identity on the Internet at all costs. Because they feel that revealing too much of themselves might harm them in certain areas in life: at work or privately. The thing is: don't reveal anything on the Internet that might harm you. Because there is a real risk that it somehow may come back to bite you in the ass. If you feel you can't get away revealing certain aspects of your life: don't post them, not even under a heavily secured anonymous nicknamed account. Anything may be traced back at you, when someone really puts their mind to it. And some people love to do just that...
So, there you've got it: I just use my nickname for convenience's sake and nothing else. And for the rest it's What You See is What You Get... Nothing more, nothing less either...

Yours sincerely,
“Bajor”Ron Rumley-van Gurp