Jan 2014
Josie Bungert

Hi, My Name is Jezzabelle.

That’s what my car would say if she could talk. I’m sure this sounds absolutely crazy, but I have, since I got my laptop almost four years ago, named all of the technology I own. I have grown to believe that electronics function better when given a name. The theory stems not only from my own solid experiences with technology, but also from what we’ve been doing for ages.

Think about it: we name our humans and pets. When a baby is born, we name it. If we didn’t, it would not only be strange, but could also be detrimental for the new baby. We try to base the anticipated success of the child based off of the names we give them. We pick out names that we think will serve them well, or match what we think they look like. You’ll hear parents say things like “He looks like a John,” meaning they believe the baby has a name that is perfect for them. It’s rare that parents name their child based on what will serve them well as a kid; they usually look towards the future. The same seems to go for pets. If not on the level of what would make them successful, we name them something that suits them just the same, often based on how they look as well as their personality. Just as kids do, pets become part of our family, and that’s why we put thoughts into their name.

So, if we put this much thought into naming babies and animals, why not name our various items of technology? I’m sure you know someone who named his or her car. Usually, it’s as a joke. However, I think that putting thought into naming technology can help. For instance, if your car won’t start, yelling at it probably won’t help, but if the car has a name, maybe it would. So, here is a brief explanation of the names of my various electronics, and why.

When I got my computer, a MacBook Pro, I didn’t want to touch it. I had never owned anything as expensive as it in my life, and put a lot of my savings account into it. So, I thought she deserved a name. In order to do so, I looked at the characteristics. First, I figured she was a girl, because of how clean, nice, and feminine she looked. She was also classy, sleek, and intelligent (obviously, since you can do almost anything on it). I took all of these characteristics and began thinking about names just as you would with animals and babies. I did this, and got the perfect name: Charlotte. Charlotte screams wise, intelligent, and hardworking. Also, she’s a Mac, so bam the name Charlotte Macintosh was born.

With the built in last name already there, when I got my iPhone last January, the name Madison Macintosh just made sense. Why? Well, I had never owned a smart phone before, so I felt super successful and super rich (which I am neither). So of course, I thought of something classy, like Madison Avenue, and bam, the name of my new baby iPhone was born.

My car, Jezzabelle, was named based less off of appearances and more on personality. Cars have personalities. You hear people tell you about different issues their cars have (the heat squeaks as it comes on, the doors don’t unlock automatically, etc.), so I took my cars personality quirks in search of the perfect name. My car is sassy. It sometimes won’t start right away (for no reason), it leaks oil (even though we fixed the oil leak) and the car alarm goes off when you unlock it with the key fob. All in all, simply sassy. So, I started to think about sassy names (starting with Angelica, a la The Rugrats). While still in the naming process, I noticed there was a window sticker on the left passenger door that says my car was made in Tennessee. My search for names went from looking at sassy names, to looking at sassy Southern names. Not sure how I got there exactly, but Jezzabelle came to be.

Alright, so maybe these super boring stories weren’t enough to convince you to start naming all of your technology. So one last reason could be to think about this: you most likely spend most of your time with your technology over other humans or pets. Even if you are at work, interacting with people, you’ll probably also be communicating with technology. So, if you name your computer, phone and car, it would make sense since these things really do become apart of your life. I mean, Jezzabelle, the queen of sass, runs much better when I talk to her like a living thing, (which is helpful in the winter), so you never know if yours will do the same. Show a little love to the things you spend all the time loving the most, and it may help your daily lives.

PS- I got an iPad for Christmas to add to the Macintosh family, so if you have any ideas for a first name, it would be much appreciated.