The day facebook tore down its ivy walls and let regular Universities join was a big deal for me. I have a few friends at those schools (entirely for networking purposes, of course) and had already heard about the thrill of a first poke. Nonetheless, it took a few "real life"™ friends to convince me of the site's merit once it came to UVA.
"I know we're already friends, but now we can be facebook friends!"
I was convinced. I needed an online repository for all my friends, real or otherwise.
Time passed and I became bored of my own identity (Alexis Ohanian). Plus, I'd also started reddit with Steve, so I thought our alien mascot (pictured above, only usually less angry) needed an account. I used my school email account and within minutes had put together a nifty little auto-biography that I felt was just narcissistic enough.
Over the last two years of reddit's life, our alien had become fairly popular. It received friend requests from a number of people, as well as other notable mascots -- like the Fog Creek Kiwi. Always cordial, the reddit mascot always accepted, even after the friend details revealed the debauchery of past nights:
"I hooked up with the reddit mascot in 2005 and it was out of this world"
"I travelled with the reddit mascot to the City of Love (not philly)"
Only a few weeks ago, I tried logging into our alien's account (we share everything). I was informed that the account had been disabled and to contact firstname.lastname@example.org to get it reactivated.
But why? What had our mascot done? Its only crime is adorability (and perhaps a bit of know-it-all-ness, but I think that comes with time-travelling).
It took a total of 15 emails with 3 different people to prove who I was and get an explanation (yes, and just like Mark promised at Startup School, the first one was responded to immediately -- by a robot).
Is it because we've been so tight-lipped about the alien's real name? Or are they really trying to crack down on facebook accounts with "fake names"? Does this mean I'll lose my friendships with Kirk Hammett and Lars Ulrich? (Wright State and Texas A&M students, respectively) Is my status with all six of my Jessica Albas in jeopardy?
I'd rather not think about that right now. I should have just said "reddit" is a nickname for "Alexis" and "mascot" is the anglicized version of "Ohanian".
What's become of reddit mascot? It's been renamed to "Alexis Ohanian". That's right, I'm now married to myself. Sigh. I may be an only child, but this is a bit much.