almost never always ask me about my preferred social media handle — which is @ocdustino for those of you who neglected to read the title of this post — where it came from, what it means, why I have it tattooed on my left ass cheek, etc. And with it being my twitterversary week (yes, that’s a thing; no, I’m not dating anyone. I fail to see the connection) it seemed like a good time to explore the legend of @ocdustino. Buckle in, cadets, you’re in for the sort of history lesson they don’t give you in school. Except maybe homeschool if I homeschool my future kids and I’m really hungover/scrambling for some filler topics that day.
The year was 1867, I was a freshman in college, and the lightbulb had just recently been invented, which meant that we could use our computers indoors, any time of the day or night! This quickly led to the invention of something called AOL Instant Messenger (or AIM for short, because you know if your acronym needs an acronym, you’re doing it right). AIM was primarily invented as a means for people to post their favorite Brand New/Something Corporate lyrics or disparaging passive-aggressive comments about their boy/girlfriend, but quickly evolved into a sort of instant messaging service that was kind of like a two-person internet chatroom, but somehow not as creepy as an actual internet chatroom. Meeting and then getting captured/raped/killed by strangers from the internet wasn’t a thing at the time (craigslist hadn’t been invented yet), but because superheroes/secret identities were still really popular (our Batman was Michael Keaton — ha! Can you believe that? Michael Keaton!) everyone used pseudonyms (known as “screen names”) to effectively hide their true identities from strangers, while also expressing their interests to those same strangers. Screen names like “CheerKick44”, “Platypussy02”, “ExtraExtraSloppy”, “GoldfishDanzer”, “Star19Catcher”, “DivaQueen02” were the norm (fun fact: I only made two of those up). Pretty rad nicknames right? Your screen name said a lot about who you were, and you wanted it to be cool, concise, and clever. With some numbers at the end like the year you graduated or your jersey number from high school athletics because someone probably already had the version of the screen name you wanted that didn’t have numbers.