This is not the first time I’ve set up Net Identities different from my real self, of course. Back when we geeks were the only ones on the net and all the internet social life was on discussion boards, I had a variety of identities, each of which suited the venue in which I was working or playing at the time. But the Interwebs have grown up since then, and it’s become an extension of real life and real business. Transparency is important. Man, if you work in social media or have even read about it more than twice, how often have you heard that axiom? So it is somewhat of a mental shift for me to return to the idea of creating an online identity that is not Me.
I log back in to Second Life. This time the decision-making is easier: I just make the same avatar and first-name choices I did last time. Then comes the Big Moment: the last-name pull down. Most of the names are unexciting, but there’s one winner:
@barbarfriendish Success! I have scored the last name “Scorpio” on #secondlife! #fb
I lock it in and begin working my way through the rest of the registration. Nothing unusual here: real name, email address, etc. During this process Daniel, who, incipient college student that he is, rolled in around 9 this morning and has just awakened from a restorative nap, wanders downstairs to see what I’m doing.
He is profoundly disgusted by the whole affair. Really, how can I be this stupid? This is not a replay of his earlier resistance to my joining Facebook, where he feared I’d be “all up in his grill”; he just thinks the whole thing is pointless. I explain that it develops there is more going on in Second Life than interactive porn, stuff that may turn out to be useful in the publishing side of my life; he snorts, unpersuaded, and withdraws.
Leaving me to try to select a Community and Start Location.
If Wynette gave me advice on how to choose these, I don’t remember. I poke around and look at the choices.
Choices that stand out, although none of them feels Inherently Right:
- Dublin in SL (SL meaning Second Life)
- The Faery Crossing
- Steampunk Victorian Caledon
- Second Life London
I would probably find the highest percentage of kindred spirits in Steampunk Victorian Caledon, but I am not a Steampunk Kid. And I do not have a high enough twee tolerance to be happy with most of what I am certain goes on in The Faery Crossing. The series I’m working on in my writing life does have ties to London–but if I get to retire on that side of the Atlantic, it’ll be much closer to Dublin than London. I’m choosing Dublin.
INSERT SWEARING HERE! Imagine it’s very loud! It develops that while I was doing other things (like taking my time to evaluate a starting location), Second Life logged me off. Once I choose Dublin, I’m bumped back to the initial screen. AAAARRRRGH!
I am not excited about any of the last names it offers me this time…