Once upon a time, the Oneika you know here was actually named Nikita– on the internet that is. When I realized that people other than my mom, three bored friends, and the occasional random were reading my online ramblings, “Oneika does France” (the first incarnation of this blog) briefly became “Nikita the Traveller”.
While I’m not a private person (I’m far too much of an exhibitionist at heart), I still thought it prudent not to reveal my true identity on the interwebs. Privacy on the internet was a priority.
Then I realized I didn’t really care, and re-christened this blog “Oneika the Traveller”. After all, I’m proud of what I write on my little corner of the internet and figured I might as well get credit for it. I also think my name is cool and hope that putting it out into general society will hopefully result in a generation of little girl (and boy- why not?) Oneikas when I am old and grey (only half joking). And finally, I hated that readers were writing me emails that addressed me by the name “Nikita”. I found myself constantly signing my responses as “Oneika aka Nikita” in an effort to set things straight.
In other words, I don’t mind having my full name- Oneika Raymond- plastered on the internet. However, I do know that there are many people, for many reasons, that do. I dig that, I totally respect one’s right to privacy on the internet.
Because, in all honesty, while my transparency has been rewarding, it brings a certain amount of responsibility. Even if I wanted to, I’m just not going to write about lewd, inappropriate things- because you never know who is reading; privacy on the internet is never guaranteed. Case in point: just two weeks ago one of my students at school revealed that he had googled my name and found ye old blog (for the record, he thought that Ms. Raymond’s tales of her travel adventures were “cool”). Another example: I never go into great detail about my places of employment for obvious reasons, but a crafty reader last year figured out exactly where I was working in Hong Kong, and emailed me questions about my job.
What’s more, we’ve all heard about how potential employers have gotten into the practice of googling employees. Exercising discretion when talking about one’s personal life on the internet, avoiding writing about stuff that could possibly come back to haunt you (and affect your job prospects!), is KEY.
But I digress. What I really meant to tell you is that my handsome, tall drink o’ water partner-in-crime is often the subject of a very innocent error. For you see, while I refer to him as Liebling on this blog, did you know that it’s not actually his name? Those who speak Deutsch probably recognized the pseudonym: liebling is German for darling, a term of endearment for my very special guy. In the early days of our relationship, in respect for his anonymity, I started referring to him as mein Liebling (my darling). I eventually dropped the possessive adjective and he became Liebling, frequent travel partner and eternal nice-guy. Years later, he could care less whether or not I put his real name online (it’s pretty easy to find out anyway), but I’m so used to calling him Liebling when I write that using the name on his birth certificate (which incidentally, is not a very German-sounding name at all) would just seem wrong.
At any rate, people usually think his real name is Liebling, and as we’ve begun to meet readers and other bloggers in real life the mix-up has proved hilarious. I introduce him by his real name and people are completely dumbfounded; the flash of confusion on their faces is just priceless.
Deciding what or what not to share can be a real balancing act, but I choose to share my name, my face, and my travel tales. That being said, I can understand why you may not be prepared to do the same.
Do you give your real name on the internet? Why or why not? What and how much do you decide to share? And did you know that Liebling’s real name isn’t Liebling?