By OgilvyOne Sydney’s Simon Bloomfield.
To those people who know me “personally”, I’m Simon. Those who know me “digitally”, call me dekkard42.
A little while ago, those identities merged when I was introducing myself to my new agency. I put this slide together to help everyone get to know me.
My particular nom de digital comes from one of my favourite films – Bladerunner, and its lead character, Rick Dekkard; and one of my favourite books – Douglas Adam’s Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy, (the answer to the ultimate question of life, the universe and everything: 42).
Of course I’m not alone in “curating” my digital persona to reflect aspects of my offline world. My Art Director tweets @10loosedigits (a reference to his DJ past), while one of my mates, a psychotherapist by day, and rock & roller by night, goes by @JohnnyFreud when he’s feeling social.
As these on and offline identities continue to merge, there seems to be one logical next step – physical identities that reflect our digital world.
Forget the Registry for Births, Deaths and Marriages, the day will soon come when the first port of call for new parents will be the Registry for Digital Identity, a central source for the securing of your bouncing baby’s unique digital ID.
You won’t be scouring the lists of “Most Popular Baby’s Names” anymore, instead you’ll be generating an identity unique to your child. One that reflects your world, your passions or the influences upon you. (And if you can’t think of anything, well, there’ll probably be an app for that.)
Once registered, your baby’s “name” will automatically be tagged for all current and future digital platforms – their email addressed, facebook fed, twitter handled, pinterest paged, and iCloud seeded – all providing a seamless integration between the physical and the digital self from birth until death.
There’ll also be the added advantage for the new parent of setting a universal password at the same time. Makes keeping an eye on their little one’s online behaviour – when they’re not so little – much simpler.
Is it far fetched? Consider this – many social sites like Spotify and Nike+ are already providing a level of identity integration through the use of facebook or twitter logins. While children’s sites like Pottermore and Poptropica are assigning permanent, unique alphanumeric identities on registration.
Sure it might not be so easy to sign an alphanumeric name, but as our lives become increasingly digitized, you have to question whether a physical signature will be a legitimate means of identification for much longer.
And we’d probably all agree anything that reduces the number of username variations we have to remember these days would be a godsend. #firstworldproblem
Already we wear our cultural hearts on our sleeves – my daughters are named after Audrey Hepburn and Edie Sedgwick. If we had a boy I was pushing for Elvis (but would have settled for Serge [Gainsbourg] or Dashiell [Hammett]). Others may prefer distant relatives, but I look to cultural signposts, and I know I’m not on my own. We all think our children are unique, and in this era of individuality, the prospect of providing them with an identity completely unique to them certainly has its appeal. Whether they can live with it, well, that’s the next question…
So, what do you think? Would you give your child a unique, alphanumeric name? And if so, what would it be and why?
This post by OgilvyOne Sydney’s Simon Bloomfield is one of seven finalists for STW Group’s Nextness Prize, 2012. If you like it, please share it.