"Today I bake, tomorrow I brew, 
Then the Queen's child I shall stew.; 
For nobody knows my little game, 
for Rumpelstiltskin is my name."
J.R. isn't my real name. However it is the name I go by and respond to. It is what people know me as. When people find out, they ask why and what is my real name. I never answer. Usually people think it's strange or get frustrated at me for not telling them something that shouldn't be a secret. "It's how people identify you" is the argument and I say, "Exactly."

Name, it is the word people refer to you as. It's personal, revealing, and there is something horrifying about its premise if you think about it. When a strangers asks you, what your name is, there is a moment of hesitation and when a person you don't know says it, there is a moment of fear. Hesitation, for allowing a stranger to know you and fear, because they know you and you don't know them.

In the age of globalization and the internet, privacy has become rarefied. With the boom of social media, the willingness to share information about ourselves with the intention to connect has never been more pervasive. Although innocent (for the most part), sharing information about yourself subsequently means letting go of control. And it's the reason why I don't disclose my name: I don't want to let go of control of my identity. I'm a paranoid person but I know I'm not entirely unjustified. As we increasingly become comfortable with sharing, privacy continues to be a dying value and I just refuse to let mine die.

There is a balance and J.R. is a compromise.

Side note: Let me address the elephant in the room and the irony that I have this blog, a twitter, an instagram and a tumblr. There was a looonngg discussion and deliberation for each one of those things before they were ever created. I thought about starting this blog for a year before it was a thing, to give you an idea. I have rules for myself that I abide by to reap the benefits of social media and none of its downsides. I'm okay with people knowing I love cheesecake or that I'm perpetually nostalgic for The Hills. But again, we never really know and that is the risk I consciously take with every picture, tweet, info I share.

photo via comic vine anecdotaltales, song via mordent

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