For almost exactly two years now, I’ve been contemplating a deceptively simple question: “Why do you call yourself ‘Nitemice’? Why don’t you use your real name?” I was asked these questions by a person I met at a party once, when I told them about my blog. And I couldn’t give them an answer. But after two years, almost to the day, of consideration and ponderment, I finally have an answer for them.
My answer comes, as many things do, in three parts.
- My Employer
- My Personas
- My Legacy
The first is probably the most obvious. When I started this blog, its primary purpose was as a way for me to document things I did and learnt during my Traineeship. I never told my employer about it, because I wasn’t sure they’d be very happy with me writing about them. So, it was only logical not to use my real name, and to use code names for anyone I talked about, like my employer (The House) and boss (Mr Chief). This way, on the off chance that they ever found my blog, they would have no idea that I was the author, or that they were the subject. This also meant that anyone else reading my blog didn’t know who I was talking about either. This served as an extra layer of protection for them, just in case I unintentionally disclosed sensitive details that may endanger their operations.
As I’ve continued onto Uni and started working for a new employer, I’ve also continued to write this blog. Thus, it has been necessary to continue obfuscating the identities of those involved.
Beyond that, my reasoning for using a nom de plume is a bit more high-concept, and has evolved over the last four years.
When I started my blog, I was inspired, in part, by the legion of YouTube vloggers I had been watching around that time. Most of them used their usernames like stage names, a placeholder for their real name that was more unique and memorable, like Nanalew or CommunityChannel. And although their real names were only ever a hop, skip and a Google away, using a stage name created a distinct divide between their public and private personas. And that’s something I’ve tried to create with Nitemice.
I want it to represent a different, distinct side of me. A public persona associated with technology and whatever else I cover on this blog, and beyond. Nitemice is the person I am online, be it gaming or commenting, blogging or tumbling, programming or photographing. All of my contributions to the Internet together form a unique and, hopefully, worthwhile impact.
The final reason I write this blog under the name Nitemice, rather than my real name, is somewhat related to the previous one. While I want Nitemice to have a useful impact on the world (or the Internet), I also personally want to make my own mark. I don’t want someone who knows me, reading these words, to make any more or less of them because they know who I am. Likewise, I don’t want someone, having read my blog, to think any more or less of me because of what they’ve read. I want each to be treated separately and on their own merit. That’s not to say that I’m not proud or wouldn’t stand by the things I have said on my blog, or contributed as Nitemice. I just want them to stand on their own.
My identity as Nitemice has become an important part of who I am, and allowed me to express myself in ways that I wouldn’t have had the confidence, nor the courage to otherwise. I’ve produced a body of writing and other works that I’m proud of, so no matter the original impetus, Nitemice isn’t going anywhere.
Hey, look at that! A comment box! If you want, you can tell me about what you thought of this blog, or any of my others, or tell me about your secret identity. I’ll be happy to hear from you, whichever you choose! And if you have an idea about what I should write about, tell me! I’m keen to know!
From your Friendly Neighbourhood