“This changes the dynamics of the situation.”
After working my way through Twitter for a couple of months, steadily following people, gaining followers, and making multiple connections with people, I realized I was having to explain one thing in particular often: my Twitter username is not my real name. The first person I spoke with outside of Twitter referred to me as Tamarah, thinking, for good reason, that this was my name. I informed her of the truth, and we went on with the discussion. The second time I spoke with someone outside of Twitter was for a job inquiry. During the interview I had to explain the significance of my chosen name once again. Connecting with people that I met through Twitter on LinkedIn resulted in the same situation; but, it was one experience with a new connection that profoundly impacted my decision.
I didn’t mean to offend her, but, apparently, I did. My reasoning for having a username different from my own name is two-fold. I chose the pseudonym because Tamarah is a name given to me by a family member. Tamar translated can mean palm tree or lotus flower. These both have special significance to me. The lotus flower, especially, reflects the process of my personal growth. I also use it as the image on the web version of my profile page for @TamarahLand, which I designed myself. Tamarah Land signifies lotus flower land or, taking poetic license, land of the lotus flower. Every time I see the name it reminds me of where I have been and helps me to continue forward. Having had such frequent experiences with explaining my name, I thought that we would continue on with the original conversation. Uhhh…no. I was wrong. I will never know what would have transpired differently, but this experience made me realize the potential to lose out on career building opportunities; and, that alone was reason enough to run…quick, fast, and in a hurry in a different direction. I love being creative and poetic, but let’s be real. It’s a username on Twitter. There are better things to be obstinate about. I don’t want anyone to feel as though they have not been interacting with the real me ever. My second reason for the pseudonym was control over my own identity in a world where people research first and ask questions, possibly, never. There will be more to come on that topic in a forthcoming post.
I made a new account for a few different reasons, and I’m already pleased with this decision. I have finally been able to get back into hashchats. The #blogchat on Sunday July 19, 2009 was excellent and resulted in heaps of new connections; and, one that may result in an exciting new endeavor to help the Gen-Y’ers out there. This would not have been possible with my previous account because no one using any searching tool to follow #blogchat would have seen my tweets, which is also the reason why I didn’t just change my display name. Also, I no longer have to explain the meaning of my name, who I really am, and why I chose the name. This was confusing to people upon first introduction. Lastly, now that I am making significant connections, I want people to be fully confident that they are interacting with me – the real me.
Thanks for reading!