Pseudonyms: How Separate is Your Online and Offline Identity?
So many of us start under a pseudonym. The Internet is built for anonymity, and it's easy to start a blog under a made-up name and write out your thoughts freely knowing that your friends, family, and neighbours won't be able to Google your name and find your innermost thoughts.
And then you start connecting with other bloggers.
And shortly after that, all hell breaks loose.
It's not impossible to remain anonymous online; I even know of a blogger who has attended conferences and remained pretty much anonymous even if there are some who know her real name. But it takes a lot of work, and it's too easy to slip up and have your true identity revealed as you juggle email accounts and blogging names.
Adoption in the City wrote about this conundrum recently. She writes under the name Racilous, though it isn't her real name. Her post covers that feeling of lost control that came with opening up more with her readers as well as telling people she was meeting face-to-face about her blog.
Suddenly lines felt blurry, I don’t feel like I can hide as easily in my pseudonym and feel comfortable. Instead I felt like I had to struggle in what I told to who, who knew which parts of my story and what I was comfortable sharing in which context. And I started to feel worried about where suddenly my name would be associated with my blog. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not ashamed of the fact I blog or what I have to say. I make no apologies for telling my story, and I work very hard to be respectful of other people’s stories. But I’ve been living a extremely compartmentalized life since I moved to NYC.
Do you write under a pseudonym? How separate is your online identity and your offline identity?