art, virtual, online identity, identity

After a week of wrestling with hosting servers, Wordpress and three days of playing around with name ideas, Sketch & Run is now the new incarnation of two blogs, formerly known as The Afterimage and Images from Nowhere.

Sketch and Run was initially a play on words but also about sketching out a plan and running with it - specifically, a rough sketch and making stuff up as I go along (mistakes and failures included). It's kind of my philosophy, going forward. Please forgive the formatting of old posts - it kind of feels like moving into a much larger house and all your old furniture is a little too small. Proverbial proper-sized furniture to come.

I've always been interested in the usernames people choose when signing up for online accounts, particularly social media. It's a bit of a hypothesis in progress (and trends come and go), but I think which type of name says a lot about when, how and who you interact with, online.

You have the 'real first and last name' people (plus birthdays if the actual name is taken), the 'creative pun on real names', the 'username that probably makes a reference to the fandom/website/interest they're engaging with' person, the 'consistent pseudonym' person who pretty much goes by that name all the time - sometimes offline as well. And there were those of us who used weird symbols to make MSN screenames - I hope you're all cringing with me right now.

I started internet life with the obligatory Neopets and accounts in the early 2000s and pseudonyms were the modus operandi, probably reinforced by a healthy dose of 'Internet stranger danger' education. So my internet penname (which has no relation, whatsoever, to my real name) basically became my actual name online, which was eventually shortened into 'Lae' (I also inadvertently named myself after a city in Papua New Guinea. The more you know...).

Even though it's still kind of unnerving to see how casually people broadcast their first, last and middle names online, it sort of feels like this distinction matters less and less in 2014. Without quite intending to, my online/offline identities slowly became a barrier and I've finally decided that it really doesn't need to be there all the time and for everything.

So here I am, introducing myself again: My name is Christina - or Chrissy, to most friends. You can also call me Lae.

Nice to meet you ( :