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Do You Use Aliases For IM, Email, or Website Registration?

I don't think it was until Gmail that I finally got comfortable using my real name as an email address; prior to that I used nicknames, as I did with IM handles as well — it seemed like it wasn't de rigeur to use your real name. Plus, wasn't that a cool thing about the Internet when you first started — the allure of anonymity?

Then, I don't know, I got older, and the then-new Gmail encouraged you to use your first.last name, like a work email address, and it made so much sense. A job application looked better coming from a real name rather than "" (not my old email address BTW, just a spirited example). It was that way with the advent of Facebook too; whereas MySpace was more anything goes, Facebook's feel and UI are more straightforward than its predecessor.

But I haven't gone totally real name on the Internet; when I register to use a service or comment on a new website, I generally stick to my first name, or some variant thereof.

What about you?

Join The Conversation
Symphonee Symphonee 8 years
I have used symphonee or some form like sym or symphonee3383 since 1998. I even *gasp* use it for job hunting. Honestly I have asked a lot of my former employers about it and they say that it is not as bad as someothers just long. I use my real name on facebook only and I am still trying to figure out how to change it. I am Symphonee. I didn't just haphazardly pick it, it means a lot to me so it is like my name.
Matdredalia Matdredalia 8 years
I'm going to apologize, as this reply came out longer than I expected, but I feel this topic ties in heavily to a much larger one -- "safety" on the internet, and what that used to mean, and what it now means.. So, here goes, and I apologize for the length. Whether or not we use aliases is a pretty simple question. But, the questions it leads to, like why use an alias in the firstplace, go a lot deeper. Technically, I use an alias for everything --- but it is by no means anonymous. I've used Matdredalia for over ten years online now, and for the first three or four years, no name was really connected with it other than my email showing up as being from Amanda B". However, around thet ime I turned 15, I started using my full name on some sites, like a teen counseling site I worked for. My counselor's page had my full name plastered on it, along with all my IM information. After that, a quick Google search of "Matdredalia" yielded my full name, a picture of me, and even what state I'm from. And by that time, I was okay with that. I realized very quickly that it was just as dangerous to go to a party that someone in my highschool was throwing as it was for someone online to know my real name --- not very, if I was careful. And now, we have things like Facebook, MySpace, public blogs. So what is it we're afraid of? Why do we cling to our anonymity? I think it's for protection from *ourselves*. From our blogs that may include rants about our boss that can get us fried, or sultry secrets of love affairs that our family and friends may not approve of? Are we remaining anonymous, not because we're afraid someone is out to get us, but because we're afraid that by living in a world where anyone can find out anything about you just by Googling you, our worst sins will come back to haunt us? Personally, I'm not that worried about anything I've posted online coming back to bite me in the ass, right now. At this point in my life, some angsty teenage blogging and political rants aren't going to hurt me. In the future, yes, I may have to worry, but not because of anything particularly terrible I've done. The problem would be if I ever get a job where being bisexual or polyamorous could get me fired. Thankfully, though, I don't see that happening any time soon.
jennythereader jennythereader 8 years
I use some variation on jennythereader just about everywhere, but I don't go to any great lengths to separate it from my real name.
EvilDorkGirl EvilDorkGirl 8 years
I have proudly been EvilDorkGirl for well over a decade now. Which, when I say that, makes me feel old.
verily verily 8 years
I use half-hearted aliases for some. Usually it's something like my first name broken up across the two name fields.
mdamsky mdamsky 8 years
After Gmail and graduating from college I thought it was more grown up to use my real name, or my first initial and last name. However, I always feel really weird about it now, (but I have too many points so I don't want to change it.) I do feel like I have completely lost that anonymity that you need to post comments, so I often don't. I do however worry, because if you look at other sites comments, like fmlife or perezhilton, poeple standing behind aliases (if that is the plural) say TERRIBLE things, and that is upsetting. I think that it gives them power to say things they would never dream of saying in real life. Luckily this is a pretty nice community.
wickedcupofjoe wickedcupofjoe 8 years
I have a very long last name, so I still go the alias route on gmail. Sorry, but it's just the way it is. LOL I do use my first name when possible, however Erin is very common so if I can't get some variant of that, I'll stick with my normal alias that I use all over (for continuity sake).
caroline_1 caroline_1 8 years
other than gmail and facebook, everything is aliases.. even tho some (like AIM and myspace) it's a derivative of my name like macgirl and cleegiants, i dont add friends to facebook that i dont know, so my true identity is pretty well secured :)
cleegiants cleegiants 8 years
i selected the 2nd option because honestly - other than my one gmail address, nothing else has my real name. like macgirl, i'm not conversing on facebook or im with people i don't know. i also like her statement about the email address and applying for jobs. since i'm looking for a job, i always use my 'professional' address, even though i think i'm getting spammed because of it. heh...thank goodness gmail's spam filter works pretty well.
fabmom0230 fabmom0230 8 years
It was until I used gmail that I started to use my real information. For some sites I still use an alias especially for new sites that I'm not familiar with.
Moirethe Moirethe 8 years
I tend to separate the two, I have certain things with my full name for work like my work email and a gmail with my name. But usually everything else, like facebook, forums, game websites, and the like, I tend to use the same handle everywhere. My concern is I don't want all my interests and the like picked and prodded when it comes to my current job and any future potential job. After all, I don't want some comment somewhere or blog entry affecting my job, like that stewardess years back that posted racy pictures of herself in her uniform on her blog. I mean I wouldn't do something that extreme, but with the current economic climate, better safe than sorry, right?
macgirl macgirl 8 years
Oh and I might add, the last time we posted a job listing on Craigslist I received over 300 emails with resumes. It was so overwhelming that I finally started filtering them by email address. Anything with partygirl, hot, foxy, princess, or the like got filtered out. I even went so far as to list them by having addresses. Keep that in mind when using email to reach potential employers.
starangel82 starangel82 8 years
I use my real name in email for job hunting/family. My work email is in my name as well and on our websites (which makes me a little uncomfortable sometimes, but everyone is that way at work). Everything else, I have an alias for.
honeycreepshow honeycreepshow 8 years
i never use my real name, at least not my full name. the closest i've come is by using 'catysuewho' (my first name is caty)
macgirl macgirl 8 years
I actually use macgirl or some variant for things like websites, gamer tags and usernames. I've just started using my first name for things like my work blog as if you go to my work website you get my real name anyways. As far as facebook or IM go- if you're in contact with me you know me, I don't converse with strangers.
LadyGoddess LadyGoddess 8 years
After getting my own domain last year, I started to feel the same way: using my real name was more genuine and honest than "butterfly007." If its something that I don't mind associating with my Real Name Blog, I'll sign in as myself but if its Livejournal or something, back to the nickname. :-)
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