I have too many names, just like The Cat in the Hat

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Well this is a nightmare. I am having a digital meltdown.   Remember the days of the early internet:  predators, scammers, and identity theft? Oh My!  Well I was afraid.

I created several email accounts, that go with different blogs and different networks, because I was so afraid to let anyone know who I was. I wanted to protect my privacy, stay safe and not hurt anyone’s feelings.  My business was my business. I didn’t want people to know where I lived, how many children I had or where I worked.  It was a safety concern for me as well as a way to set boundaries.   I wanted to be free to say whatever I wanted without risking any negative consequences.

I created one blog just to express sadness (I have bouts with depression), I call it my “sad blog.”  No one would ever need to see that.  It was for me and me only, but it needed to be connected to some email account.  So I created yet another email.

I also like to post comments.  I have to add my two cents, I don’t know why I like this, but I do.  The problem is many sites use different sign-on applications to allow comments.  So I would sign up, and not even remember what name and or password I used.  I didn’t keep good records, too much work.  So how many names and password do I really have?  No clue.

( btw – #$%@ passwords )

Now,  if you don’t use your real name people think you are the creeper. I believe Facebook and Linked-in changed the game.

This brings me to my secondary issue, I don’t even know my name.  What I thought was my name for 20 years turned out not to be my name, according to the government.  The IRS informed me that I either had to change my name to match my social security card or get a new card with my married name on it.  This posed problems because of medical records, school records, property documents, insurance policies and a few financial items.  I didn’t what to go through all the work of documenting the changes to all these different places.

My super easy solution – I’ll just tack on the married name.  No hyphen. I always hated hyphenated names.  I wanted nothing to do the hyphen.  So the last name is just added at the end of my name sequence; my first name, my middle name, last name, and now a second last name.

How many times am I asked, “What name is it under?”

” I don’t know, ( they look at me like I am nuts) my first last name or my second last name.”

“Hyphenated?”

“No.”

Look at The Cat in the Hat, he is very talented. ( but he does have 5 names)  I tried to be him.  For decades I tried.  But that kind of balancing act is far too much for me to handle anymore.  I am not at all interested in even attempting it and that why I am changing.  I no longer what to exist so many places with so many log-ins, and passwords.  It eats up the limited space in my brain.  I won’t change my physical name ever again (never say never), but I am able to declutter my digital existence.

Right now, one singular  identity will not work for me, however,  I figure that three focused areas and dedicated id’s will suit me fine.  I have work, personal, and personal work. Eventually they will meld together, I am sure…..maybe.

I am saying good-bye to my personal Facebook (deleted it last night), and keeping my business Facebook, ditching some twitter accounts, and eliminating old email accounts.  I am also going to delete old emails, on my personal -work account.  I don’t need to see that huge number at my inbox.  I am never going to read them anyway.  Just letting go feels good.  Phew.  This is a start.  What can you delete?   Cheers.

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**In writing this, it spurred a thought to unclutter my name to singular name you know like Cher, Prince and Batman. Hmm.  As long as I am tied to a Social Security number I don’t think it matters. (?)

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Tips :   25 Areas of Digital Clutter to Minimalize

A Minimalist’s Guide to Using Twitter Simply, Productively, and Funly

Plug all Your Leaks Or You Will Die

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Today’s One day- one thing: Deleting old accounts, horrible photos and old emails.

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