Lunchtime Poll

LTP: 7/18

So, believe it or not, most of us here don’t write under our own names. Shocking, right? I know. Some of us carefully hide our online identities from people we know “in real life” (although I hate that phrase), and others are a little less guarded. Today’s LTP question: do your online and “real” lives ever collide? Do your friends, family, or coworkers know what your usual screenname is? How do you feel about that?

15 replies on “LTP: 7/18”

I keep mine fairly separate. Not necessarily to be secretive, but my sense of audience changes in posting comments here/Jez/Tumblr if I know people who I talk to in other ways (in person, via text, gchat) are also reading. I’m like, “do I need to anonymize this more because Alex might recognize that I’m talking about that girl who she thinks is funny even though I think she’s a total bitch?” rather than just telling a funny anonymous story on Tumblr. I had a blog connected to my “Sequined” online name for a couple of years and eventually I couldn’t write anymore (A. because my life became less interesting and B.) because I had a really strange sense of who was/might be reading.

I try to keep them very separate. My boyfriend knows this username and sometimes reads what I write here, but other than that, no.
Basically my reason is that my IRL name is pretty unique, and I don’t want everything I’ve ever said on the internet to pop up in a random search. My Facebook is privatised as much as possible; my Twitter (real name) is mildly censored.

My mother always told me not to do stuff that I can’t own. She also believe strongly in don’t ask don’t tell (not the U.S.Army version – she doesn’t care about that, just in life she doesn’t ask if she’s not sure she want to know the answer). I try to do both although I don’t believe the second one is that wise. Anyway, I’m telling you this because although I don’t always want everyone to know everything (quite the opposite) I try to live openly.
Netfe is a my internet name pretty much everywhere. It’s a nickname my friend gave me and still use and close people know I go by. My mom doesn’t understand the interwebz and also doesn’t read English so she’s not a problem. And she doesn’t want to know anyway. Also, hanging in American sites while not American is kinda helpful in keeping my anonymity, none of my friends in real life come here.

I have been using this username since AOL, so it is very well tied to my identity. I don’t think most of my friends take the time to run a google search on me, but if they did they would find plenty. That said, there are a few sites where I use a different username so that I can complain or be snarky without it being seen by my mother, or be found by my kid in a few years.

My family and most of my friends don’t know about my paperispatient online identity. While I’m proud to write the Frisky Feminist column here on PMag, I don’t think it’s something my mother needs to be reading. And I like being able to talk about aspects of my life on Tumblr and other places with a bit of anonymity. A few friends know I went by this name on other sites back in high school, and I loved it too much to change it – if someone makes the connection, it’s not the end of the world, but I mostly want to keep things separate to prevent family-related awkwardness and for job-related reasons.

For a decade, I participated in a forum community under this name and looking back, I’m truly shocked that no one from my real life ever called me out. Its a site that requires a login to post, but not to read most threads. I posted extensively about my friends, relationships, experiences. I never used anyone’s real names but it would be obvious to figure out who “my ex” or “my boyfriend” or “my BFF” was if you know me at all.

In my teens and 20’s, I had a livejournal, a blog, a website, etc etc. In the earlier days of the internet, we had security through obscurity. I just trusted that the only people likely to find them would be because I gave them the URL. Now that everyone knows how to google, I shudder to think about how much employers, co-workers, or casual acquaintances could have known about me.

Real-life and my online world met about 6 months ago, because I do not keep things separate. As a result, I had to quit blogging about my family. Since none of them ‘get’ a word I write. ~shrugs~ I guess you could say it is the price I pay for being me.

I try to keep my online/IRL stuff pretty separate. I know of one person that is an IRL friend that follows my Tumblr, and my roommate knows I use this name but I doubt she cares enough to look through stuff. IRL people are mostly just off in Facebook land, where I post very little except funny, pretty impersonal things. People that “don’t know me” probably know me better than most of my 306 Facebook friends.

I usually keep it fairly separate, but I have a few people from “real life” who follow my Tumblr (which I’d say is probably my main internet “presence” with the largest group of people reading it)/I follow theirs (my roommate, one of my friends, etc.). The really awkward thing was when my boyfriend found it, because he goes through specifically to see if I’ve written anything about him (haha). I don’t really mind when people find me online because I don’t really say anything there I wouldn’t say in real life… Mostly I just try and hide it from my parents. :P

I have 2 screen names. One is from HS and everyone and their mother in real life knows it, so I rarely use it anymore. This one is more recent and a few people I know in real life know it, but I could probably count them on one hand. Both names are probably linked together and then linked to my real name, but I doubt anyone really cares enough to find out my super secret real life identity.

One person I know knows both my screen name and my real name. She helped me craft it after all. But, I don’t think she knows where all I pop up in comments.

I also have two different screen names so I know there is one name that no one has connected to my real name. Though, if you follow Super Grover, you could connect all the dots. :)

I’m not sure why I keep them all distinct and separate. It would probably require a therapist to hash out but sometimes I don’t like sharing certain things with certain people and if everyone I knew, ever, read my tumblr I think I’d be weirded out by it. And I really don’t need those same people reading my occasional rants on the other/lesser ladyblog.

Oh, I am very much Super Grover. But I have to keep my identity secret so I can live a ‘normal life’ from time to time.

I once mentioned this method to Superman and suddenly everyone’s dying to meet Clark Kent. But whatever, I’m not bothered. :) Super Grover loves one and all – especially kittens.

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