I’m fairly sure I’m the only person with my name. I don’t share my last name here (hence the first and middle name use, as much as I don’t love it) but having a semi-rare French (ish? American sounding?) name as my first name and an uncommon Iranian last name makes me a pretty rare bird. If you google my full name, you’ll find me. Just me.
N and I thought a lot about this when we were naming Bennett (here’s my post on how we named Bennett). He too has a non-Persian first name (plus a Persian middle name) coupled with our last name and that means he’s probably the only one. I struggled with the idea of this, because sometimes I wish for the online anonymity that a common name comes with.
I’ve known three women named “Jennifer Smith” in my life. If you google “Jennifer Smith” there are so many results that you might never find the actual Jennifer Smith you were looking for. I used to think that was a bad thing. I loved my unique name and was happy to be the only one.
But now, in this online world we live in, I wish I had that anonymity sometimes. I wish I could use my full name here and know that professionally, my blog would be hard to link with my work. Probably because after all these years I’m still pretty embarrassed by my blog (but that’s another story for another day).
Using your full name makes you feel more like a real person I guess, and not some character in the internet psuedo reality world we live in online. I’m proud of my name. I took N’s last name by choice and I’m proud to share it with him and with our son. Also, remember years ago when I wrote a post about why I’d take my husbands last name?
I hated my first name as a child but now I love it. In a sea of Sarahs, Jessicas, and Laurens, no one ever had to wonder which Nadine someone was talking about. For better or worse. I like to think it makes me more memorable. Plus I was named after my Moms best childhood friend and that feels pretty special too. It has meaning and I like that, even if it means I’ve been Nadeen or Nadene on most Starbucks cups.
A few weeks ago I reserved Ben’s gmail for him. I got it – firstname.lastname – no problem. I sent an email from it to N with a cute little note. It got me thinking about how careful he’ll have to be with his online identity if he’s so easily google-able. It’s the reason I’ve never made a hashtag just for him (though #archieandbennett had to be a thing, though I think it’s vague enough) tempted as I was in my blogger heart.
The world he’ll grow up in is entirely different than the one we did. Some day we may be able to see every baby photo of our President, all the way back to birth, right on his Mom’s social media. It’ll be such a strange normal.
Anyway, I hope Ben likes his name. I hope he’s proud to be half-Persian and he doesn’t mind that we always have to spell our last name (and spell it again) and many people will still get it wrong. I hope he doesn’t wish he was a Benjamin instead of Bennett. And I hope he doesn’t mind that I never ever call him Bennett (just Ben) unless he’s getting “scolded” for feeding Archie from his high chair.
We lack online anonymity and even though I wish I had that sometimes, I wouldn’t trade Jennifer Smith because being Nadine Rebecca [last name withheld lol] is pretty great.
If you have a common name, I’d love to know how you feel about the other side of this? Is it annoying to be so hidden online just out of sheer numbers? If you also have an uncommon name, how do you feel about it?