Hiding our faces

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I’ve been feeling popular lately. I mean very popular. I’m talking “bad guy in a teen movie” popular. It seems every time I log on to Facebook I get messages on my newsfeed updating me about people I don’t know. It is a great feeling having so many friends that you can’t even keep track of them.

Unfortunately, I couldn’t just let a good thing be. Loyal to the journalist in me, I had to go and do some digging about who these people were. I realized that I didn’t know a “Katie Katie”, but that she certainly did resemble my good friend Katie Cammorota. Also, Andrew Thomas was completely unfamiliar, but he had the same stupid smile as my buddy Andrew Wakelee.

I soon discovered what was happening. My friends were becoming seniors and were beginning to hide their internet identities from potential employers. Nothing can derail a job search quite like a picture of you and your friends feeding beer to a duck. With companies using facebook more often as a resource to check in on graduates; leaving incriminating photos, comments, and videos has become increasingly risky.
So like superheros, we now are hiding behind secret identities. I have to admit, this is all very exciting to me. I actually jumped onto this bandwagon months ago when I changed my facebook name. I wasn’t hiding anything, I just thought wanted to honor Chad Johnson by changing my name to Joe “Cuatro Cero“. Unfortunately, it never really caught on.

While it really sucks that we have to hide who we are to get a job, I think there are some positives behind this if we all harness the potential in this movement. Instead of adopting lame aliases like the “First name- Middle name” combo or the “Double First name” method, lets show some creativity. To start the revolution, I have created a list of some of my personal favorite possible fake facebook identities. Hopefully these will inspire you.

Mike Honcho– This one is especially fitting if you are attempting to hide embarrassing photos of yourself. I have one friend who has an annoying habit of losing his pants. In his mind, there is a constant battle raging between him trying to make you look at his butt, and you trying not to look at his butt. In my mind, there are no winners in this game, only losers. Of course, a side effect to this is that we now enjoy a plentiful collection of pictures of his butt online. This is nice if you are searching for pictures of men’s bottoms, but not so great for a company looking for a new Public Relations director. So I would recommend that our friend invests in a name change… and a belt.

Abe Froman– This one is a homage to the classic “Ferris Bueller’s Day Off” scene when the gang fools a restaurant host into seating them by pretending to be “the sausage king of Chicago”. This technique is useful when you are trying to hide your whereabouts. Let’s say you told your teacher you had to miss class for your grandmom’s funeral. In reality though, you were taking a page out of Bueller’s book and attending a baseball game. Your professor might not appreciate finding photos of you flipping off Billy Wagner instead of paying respects to mom-mom. You don’t have to keep a low-profile at the game, just make sure you change your profile name. (Advice has more staying power when it rhymes)

Sasha Fierce– I had trouble thinking of fake identities for women, which is strange because I have a long sad history of girls giving me fake names. My roommate listens to terrible terrible music, so I have had “single ladies” in my head all month. In fact, don’t change your name to Sasha Fierce because every time I log onto your profile I’ll be stuck humming that tune all afternoon. Forget I even suggested this.

Inigo Montoya
– “The Princess Bride” has always been a guilty pleasure of mine. It is a fantastic movie cursed with a terrible name. (I tried for hours to think of a fitting comparison for the “bad name curse”, before finally asking my roommate, Wakelee. He quickly replied “How about the band the butthole surfers?” I refused to google or youtube “butthole surfers”, so we are just gonna have to take his word on this one)

Mr. America
– I get most of my life lessons from professional wrestling. 1) Before shaking anyone’s hand, I look back and forth for others’ approval. 2) It is perfectly acceptable to start a “USA” chant whenever an immigrant enters the room. 3) Never turn your back on a corpse. Most importantly, no matter how famous or recognizable you may be, if you do not want others to know who you are all you have to do is wear a mask. So if you are really worried about your boss checking out your facebook profile, don’t stop at just changing your name. Hide your identity in your profile pic with a fancy new mask.

Your Porn Name– This is a classic ice breaker and is very easy to do. Simply take your middle name and the street you grew up on. I would be Micheal Ascot. Kinda works in my case huh?

Max Power– From one of my favorite episodes of the Simpsons. Homer changes his name after it is disgraced by a tv-cop by the same name. Enter Max Power. This episode also provides us with more female names, as Homer suggests that Marge changes her name to Hottie Mcboob, Busty St. Claire, or Chesty Laroux.

I hope some of these examples can help you as you begin to think of your new identity. Think outside the box. Maybe you can follow in the footsteps of Prince and become a symbol. Or maybe we could stop being so childish as a society and quit stalking each other to the point where we are afraid to express ourselves. I guess sometimes it is easier to change our names than it is to change our stripes.

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