How “real” is your online persona?
Do you use a pseudonym, your real identity or both?
Where you use a pseudonym how open about your actual identity are you?
Is your anonymous/pseudonymous online self a secret or more a form of protective “camouflage”?
My online persona is actually a very real version of myself. Perhaps not every facet of my personality but the stories I share are based on real life experiences. The musings are most definitely a reflection of my honest opinions. So it is as real as it gets. In fact it is probably more real than most people get because most people keep any radical ideas they have to themselves.
The only contradiction to my ‘real’ personality is my name. Gemma is of course a pseudonym. I use the name when I write blogs and also when I meet people from on line dating sites. So far only one person has made the connection between this blog and my dating profile without some help. No one has to date made the connection between this blog and the real world ‘Mrs Jones’. I have not taken any of the people in my workplace or circle of regular friends into confidence and shared my blog with them.
Usually once I have met a play friend a couple of times I reveal my real name. There is generally understanding about using a fake name. In fact several of the people I meet have used false names themselves. As I outlined above I don’t share my pseudonym with anyone from my every day life.
Unlike many people who inhabit the murky world of Twitter and sadly, internet dating sites, I don’t use a pseudonym to allow myself to dabble in secret fantasies that are not possible in real life. Tonight I read a fantastic post written by Miss Scarlett about people who engage in sexual interaction in a virtual way as a way of dealing with some version of Life crises. My pseudonym is a form of self protection. When it comes to ideas about people who interact with their children, people tend to be irrational and very closed minded. Consequently keeping some of my extra curricular activities behind closed doors is a matter of professional survival.
As far as people dabbling in virtual fantasies goes I have learned over the years to live and let live. There is always more than one side to a story. I guess where it becomes annoying is when people who have no intention of enacting their fantasies in the real world interact with me and cause frustration and angst by pretending they are. I am getting better at picking these people from the get go. Sometimes they are genuinely interesting people and I develop a friendship of sorts. Sometimes they are selfish irritating individuals who are only interested in acquiring pics for their own personal gratification. Those people don’t usually hang around for long.
Pseudonyms are par for the course with the environment we are hanging around in. People using the virtual world to live out fantasies in a safe way is also par for the course. As long as they are not being malicious and causing problems for people who are we to judge?