Friday, August 22, 2008

Naming Your Responsibility

I know it is hip and trendy to re-invent yourself – everyone seems to be doing that these days. Whether it involves buying a new wardrobe, getting a new hairstyle, or even just getting your teeth whitened – many are up to these things.

But when you are a “celebrity” of sorts, say on television, the radio, movies or even in print, you have a certain responsibility to those you are talking too. Because you are in the public eye, whatever you do is held to a slightly higher standard – because when you mess up, everyone will know about it.

So how come some of the latest celebrities have aliases, or only first names? I was watching some show on one of the local stations, and the host was only identified by her first name. If you’re afraid of people holding you accountable for your actions, you shouldn’t be on television in the first place.

Granted, she could be concerned about being stalked, but hey, even some of the big name celebrities that do use their full names get stalked.

It may sound cool to have some funky pseudonym like “DJ Durk” or “Mr. X” but I wouldn’t trust you or your opinions. Which may be why you got into the public sphere in the first place – to share and maybe sway people in their viewpoints.

The Internet is slightly different – anyone can say or be anyone they want online. So people posting blogs, like this often do assume aliases or handles, because they may have a completely different life online, and others may only know them by their online name.

Though that does raise the question about how legitimate people are online – or when they do choose to go by a handle, an initial, or even not their real name.

Those in the major media – television, radio, movies, the printed papers and magazines – should always use both a first and a last name at the very least. Unlike the Internet, not just anyone can gain access to this method of mass communications.

As such, it’s important that these people – the so-called “celebrities” of the world – show some accountability for their actions and have a way to identify them, other than through some cool sounding alias.

While online, I’d say handles are all the rage and okay. Though I still wonder about Mr. X’s intentions. . .

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