This isn’t going to be a deep, profound, or philosophical post about my personal identity. It’s about my online usernames!
Since 2009, I have made my online presence as “coryldork”—to the point where it’s literally every online handle for every account I use. 2009 to 2017 is a very long time, and it’s time for a change. I’ve grown up, after all, over the eight years I’ve been doing this online thing. I’m in my 20s, no longer in school, and—arguably—at the biggest changing point in my life. Finishing classes means a natural transition into a different world.
Early during my social media days, I used my real last name on the Internet. But as time has gone on, and as I’ve navigated the concept (and reality) of being a writer and creative with a digital platform—being a person who could have a large presence online—I came up with a pen name. Since the middle of 2016, I’ve been itching for a change from “coryldork” for a few reasons. The first is hearing about it from my family, and how they didn’t quite get the slang of it. (Honestly, the twentieth time you hear your grandmother say your email address with scorn, you’re exhausted.) The second reason is drifting away from “Coryl o’Reilly” and feeling uncertain about that presence. And the third is the realisation that I’m gunning to be more than a writer—I want to create more art as well and delve into editing.
So, starting February 1st, I’ll be using the new handle of “corylwrites” and the name “Coryl Reef”!
Coryl Reef is obviously not my real name. “Coryl” is, and every time I introduce myself to someone by saying my name, I say, “Coryl, as in coral reef.” It was a punny suggestion from someone and it just… clicked. It makes sense. It’s obvious and helps people to know how my name is said. It also makes it fairly clear that the identity that I put online is only half real. I’m more than my tweets, Instagram photos, and blog posts. There are still facts and truth in it, but at the end of it, I want to better curate my presence on social media.
My blog is registered until October 2017, so I’m not sure if I’ll renew it then. I had a second website for the previous name, but I’m going to let that one expire this spring. But anyway! I’ll be moving to a new Twitter account (which will be a relief, actually—there is so much whiny garbage from my younger years), but simply renaming all other social media that I can. If I can’t rename the account, then I suppose I’ll be moving to a new one.
I’m so excited!! Have you ever changed your online presence? I feel so liberated.