Before continuing, know that this problem is neither urgent nor very serious, so there may be other letters you'll want to tend to before this one.
My problem is quite personal and some may even call it petty. In a nutshell: I don't like that name I've chosen to make myself known with around the net. My username, "daelmacro" has become what I call myself in various places in the internet cloud and for the longest time, I've been living with it, trying to make myself known here.
But so far, I've been just another user, and honestly, I think my name has a lot to do with it. It's neither original nor catchy. It's probably not even that memorable. There are a lot of furs with the "macro" suffix in their name, and I unknowingly attached this to my username without knowing what it implied. Second, my name is easily, and very commonly misspelled...which deeply annoys me. A lot of people make it "dale" or "marco" instead of the real "daelmacro." Third, my username is also my fursona character's name...which makes it confusing to some people, who don't know if I'm speaking in-character as my fursona, or as an artist.
If I could go back to myself three years ago, I would tell him to pick a more unique name, such as the one I'm using now for gaming, "daltaidan." It has a much better ring. I've seen a lot of people move or transfer accounts just to get a better username...
Papabear, am I making too big a deal of this? And if I want to change my name on the net, what should I do? Where do I even start?
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Oh, Papabear can sure sympathize with name issues. On FurAffinity, I foolishly picked the username “zoobear.” At the time, I did so because I like bears and I like zoos. I soon found out that many people mistakenly thought I was a zoophile. Embarrassing. But it was too late to change my name. FA doesn’t let you; you have to delete your account and start over with a new one, which is a pain in the butt.
So, I kept the username, but whenever I wrote a comment or whatever on FA I made sure to sign it Grubbs Grizzly. Doing that often enough, most people who knew me got the point. Then, when I joined other sites like Facebook, I used my fursona name as my username.
Assuming you use “daelmacro” on ALL the sites you are on, including any chat services like YIM, Skype, etc., that becomes more of an issue. (BTW, I don’t think that’s such a bad name; worse are the hundreds of furries, for example, who call themselves some variation of Alphawolf or Omegawolf after the movie “Alpha and Omega” came out a while back.... Unimaginative, to say the least). “Daltaidan” really isn’t any more memorable than “Daelmacro.” People will likely misspell it just as much as your current name because that’s what people do.
Changing your name is kinda like changing a mailing address—it can be a big bother, but it is doable. For chat services like Yahoo, it is rather simple, and it can be an opportunity for weeding out the chaff—those people you wouldn’t mind dropping from your contact list for one reason or another. All you do is send out a mass email to those you want to stay in touch with and tell them you have a new account and will soon be dropping the old one. (Of course, set up a new account FIRST). Give them some time to add your new account (say, a week or two) and then delete the old account after archiving any information you wish to keep.
You can do something similar with other sites. On FB, it’s easy to change your name. Just click on the little cog icon at the top right of the page, go to Account Settings, and key in a new name. You can post a journal (put IMPORTANT in the subject line) that all your watchers will see, telling them what you’re about to do and what your new fursona is and such. I’ve seen quite a few people do this on Facebook.
FurAffinity, SoFurry, and others, I believe, require you to actually delete the account and open a new one (readers, any input from you on this may be helpful, so please comment).
If you have friends who follow you on several sites, you can save yourself some trouble and just email them at one time, telling them all the sites and services you use and what your new account will be. Your close friends and family will have your phone and email anyway, so you will not lose any of them. Any acquaintances and watchers who drop off your contacts are not a huge loss and, if they are really interested in you, they will find you one way or another.
More time consuming is saving all your “likes,” bookmarks, and archived pictures and such that you may have on your social sites. Depending on how important this stuff is to you and how much you have, it could take you hours to save it all.
In the meantime, and ASAP s’il vous plait, start referring to yourself by your new name. Use it all the time. Tell people this is your name now and to forget about the old one. The more you use your name the more familiar people will become with it and the easier the transition will be.
Changing one’s name is not the easiest thing, but with a little work it is doable.
Hope that helps.
A note on comments: Comments on letters to Papabear are welcome, especially those that offer extra helpful advice and add something to the conversation that is of use to the letter writer and those reading this column. Also welcome are constructive criticisms and opposing views. What is NOT welcome are hateful, hurtful comments, flaming, and trolling. Such comments will be deleted from this site. Thank you.