The Daily Kos community continues to grow and evolve. Today, it's my turn to evolve. For me, today is my graduation day. I'm trading in my anonymous, ridiculously childish handle, for an account that carries my real name.
In many ways it is like going from childhood to adulthood. An anonymous handle makes me feel safe and secure that I can throw whatever bombastic insults and complaints that I want. Signing my real name to something is going to make me stop and think about what I'm saying and if I want to live with having said it and forever being associated with my name.
For several months I've been blogging and commenting with the thought that, "pretend you're in the same room with this person and you have to face them tomorrow". It's made me figure out ways to disagree with people without being disagreeable - even when the other person is being disagreeable themselves. The results(at least at Daily Kos) have been nothing short of remarkable.
Since I've started commenting more consciously, I have been involved a fewer flame wars, turned disagreement into agreement, and gained followers even when those followers obviously disagree with me. In my past, when I had my anonymous security blanket, I would more often trade veiled insults and walk away from a disagreement mad as hell. Now when I walk away from a disagreement, I feel satisfaction from either coming away being able to understand the source of disagreement - or feel a sense of satisfaction that I kept my cool when the other person started hurling insults. In some cases, keeping cool, and being gracious has infected those whom I disagree with and destroyed their own disagreeableness.
I was wondering what the experience of others has been. If you've blogged under a handle, AND under your real name, have you noticed the same difference?
Today, I feel as though I'm ready to graduate to the big leagues. I am now ready to quit pretending, and actually sign my name next to everything I say with pride. I will now be blogging under my new account. So if you're following me, or are interested in combining economics and progressive messaging like I am, please follow the new account: Dustin Mineau
It is a shame that the new daily kos 4 didn't give the option to change one's account name or screen name. At best, I suppose I can change the name of my blog account, but the name signed to the posts and comments would still be "maddogg". So see you all under my new name.
P.S. I don't know how many people have been around here long enough to get the 2 or 3 layers of irony in my title, but to those who have been, hope I made you smile.