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  • Annie

On usernames


When I was a younger and less self-assured child, I briefly wanted to be called Alice. I had read and reread the Lewis Carroll book numerous times. I was convinced that I could live a life that was filled with much more whimsy and curiosity if I only had a different name.


This period of my life overlapped with a period of expected anonymity on the internet, so for about 5 years I went by Alice in the majority of my friendship circles, since many of them were internet and forum based.


In more recent times, a username has become somewhat an extension of one's personal "brand" on the internet. Back in it's toddler era, a username was simply an extension of one's personality. While in it's infant stages there were plenty of FirstName572s, in it's next iteration (at least within my circles) usernames became some strange mismatch of concepts and either had secret meanings, silly meanings or none at all, not unlike the Millennial Tattoo.


My Millennial Tattoo username was IrrelevantObjects. I was still going by Alice in most spaces at the time, with the exception of the (then) new space on F*cebook, where users were highly encouraged to use their real names.


This was an unreal concept at the time, so I smartly went by Annieh, like the proper super spy I am. Stranger danger was still weakly in force.

One late night in 2012 while completing an assignment with some friends at university, a friend whipped up the name "Annie and the Motions" in reference to a group photo of me and my fellow animation degree friends. The name lit some strange fire in me, and I cast off IrrelevantObjects like an old skin. I've been annieandthemotions ever since, and will probably be carrying that with me for even longer to come.


In fact, I've been annieandthemotions now for over 10 years. I've owned that website domain for longer than I've ever lived in a single location or household. I've been annieandthemotions for longer than I've ever even lived in one country for a single stretch of time.


Is it odd to think of a username as a home? I grew up a neglected child living and learning on the internet, avoiding the heavier and more disastrous subcultures practically by random chance. Talking about now defunct spaces feels like showing people around a ghost town that used to be my hometown. Annieandthemotions is as personal as a public profile can be for me, and can never be a space of Just Business.


Annieandthemotions is my home, after all.

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