Poll: Would you use your online Alias in real life?


  • sockdevs

    I'm curious, Most of use have an alias, or handle, or tag, whatever you want to call it online. This name is rarely our legal name, but if it could be, would you choose it to be?

    • Yes, absolutely
    • I'm not sure
    • Absolutely not
    • I'll tell you in the comments
    • What alias? this is my given name.

    What would you choose?


  • Discourse touched me in a no-no place

    I have actually used "Frost" on a nametag.

    I told people my parents were hippies. Fortunately none of them had seen The Lost Boys.

    That doesn't mean I'd change my legal name, though.



  • What, no ALIAS_NOT_FOUND?



  • That would defeat the purpose of having more than one identity in the first place.

    Nothing's stopping you from legally changing your name to your handle. We don't do it because the entire point is to have TWO DIFFERENT NAMES.


  • sockdevs

    considered it, but i actually was hoping for the topic to stay semi serious for at least 20 minutes.


  • sockdevs

    I'll put that one down as "absolutely not" then?



  • Closer to "the question demonstrates a strange misunderstanding of why people use handles in the first place."


  • Discourse touched me in a no-no place

    @blakeyrat said:

    That would defeat the purpose of having more than one identity in the first place.

    Nothing's stopping you from legally changing your name to your handle. We don't do it because the entire point is to have TWO DIFFERENT NAMES.

    And there's the rain on the parade.


  • sockdevs

    well, to you perhaps.

    for me, I am Accalia and i'm also, for-the-sake-of-the-argument-not-my-real-name Sally.

    I get mail addressed to Accalia about as often as i get mail addressed to my real name. Not because i've actively tried to achieve the effect but simply because i've been me long enough that things have leaked.

    I respond IRL to both names about equally. Among people that i know IRL and those that i trust enough online to tell them my real identity I don't care which you refer to me as, either works.

    I'm not "accalia" here and "sally" in real life to hide anything, i'm pretty much me all over (although "accalia" is a bit more outgoing, but not by much)

    so would I use my Alias IRL? Yeah i would. Do i really fell strongly enough to go through the mass of paperwork required to transfer all of my loans (college ain't cheap), my bank accounts, my employment records, my drivers license, etc. which would involve several days standing in lines and many forms filled out? not so much.

    That's how i feel on the matter and i wanted to know how others felt. thank you for sharing, it has been most enlightening.



  • A good case study on the subject would be the backlash surrounding Real ID.


  • Winner of the 2016 Presidential Election

    I don't mind when people use it, though it's sometimes weird when they interact with people who know me from other contexts.

    Unlike Blakey, I am not really into the multiple identities thing. I mostly don't use my given name as a username because it's usually taken. Typing in a full name each time you log in somewhere is tedious.


  • sockdevs

    I did read about that. it was and is a terrible idea.

    the use of your real name must be a choice not a requirement. It's why i refused to participate in G+ until they let me use my alias.

    but if i choose to be again-just-for-the-argument-not-my-real-name Susan online rather than Accalia that's fine, I'm an adult and can make that choice, but being forced to? nope. not having any of that.



  • When people don't use their real name, they're capable of being not absolutely boring and not absolutely horrible at the same time.
    (Yes, people are almost always nicer under their real name, but if so - they are always absolutely boring).
    (Yes, some people are interesting when talking under their real name. They're all assholes, though).
    (Yes, most people using a fake handle are boring assholes. But the possibility of non-boring non-horribleness exists, and that's crucial)
    You should be able to find studies online discussing this in greater detail.


  • mod

    My alias here is a derivative of my given name. Elsewhere, I do use another handle, which I don't use IRL. Not sure how I should be voring.



  • Mott is actually my last name. I have a separate handle for gaming use that I generally don't get called in real life outside of gaming.


  • sockdevs

    There are people that call me Arantor out here in meatspace. Some of them shorten it to Ara or Ar, but there are people who do that.

    I don't mind either way, though. It's just that my real name is nothing exciting though one person did once describe it as a gangster name and nothing short of awesome.

    I am actually kind of weird about hearing my real name because I'm so not used to dealing with real human beings that people using my actual given name is kind of rare. And using my real name tends to inspire a certain... mild fear at times.

    My name, which is trivial to find especially if you paid attention to some of my posts, is Peter... and hearing 'Peter' outright tends to make me wary because most people that do actually use my name here in meatspace shorten it to Pete, which is fine but those who call me Peter generally know it gets my attention with a 'what the fuck have I done now?' reaction.

    I am sure at least one person uses my full name in that respect specifically to get my attention though because I'm sure I've told them about this slight quirk.

    I did actually once seriously debate changing my name but after realising how many people simply get my name wrong in pronunciation and the feeling of having to correct everyone... I gave that idea up as stupid.



  • Pretty much the only reason I still post here is because my name was available when I signed up.



  • If anyone calls me by my online alias in real life I would slap them. (exceptions for when the alias they know me by is a shortening of my own name)

    Edit: I also have multiple online handles which I would like to keep disjoint from my meatspace identity.



  • I don't think I've ever used my alias in real life unless you count removing the underscore and replacing it with a space.

    By the way, my classes are all in this building this semester.


  • Grade A Premium Asshole

    @blakeyrat said:

    That would defeat the purpose of having more than one identity in the first place.

    So what you are saying is that you are a sockpuppet of @codinghorror? I knew it.



  • Speaking of @blakeyrat, I just Googled blakeyrat and got this image as the second result:

    The first result was a Dwarf Fortress screenshot I took that blakeyrat commented "anus flowers" on.


  • Grade A Premium Asshole

    That is basically what I thought @blakeyrat looked like to begin with. I am not surprised in the slightest.


  • Discourse touched me in a no-no place

    I wanted to like your post but I get a popup with no text and an Ok button.

    Hanzo'ed: it let me, later.



  • This alias, I mainly use online when I want to avoid associations with my real life identity (though that said, I'm getting close to the point I might be comfortable using my usual screenname here instead. Shame Discourse doesn't let you change it). I have used it previously IRL before a few times as well though (but hasn't happened recently).

    My usual screenname is one of my IRL nicknames, or a variation on them, and there are many people I know IRL that call me by it rather than my actual name.


  • Winner of the 2016 Presidential Election

    My primary alias (this one) holds, in my mind*, the same position as my legal name: they are both my 'real' name, and the only real distinction is that I use one online, and the other offline. I wouldn't object to being known legally by this one (or one of my much older ones), but I don't really think it worth the effort to change it, either.

    Regarding @blakeyrat's point: That's what I have other pseudonyms for. With separate emails and such. I also have one obviously related to my legal name to use for business purposes should I suspect they'd have a problem with this one.


    *: There's almost no overlap between people who use my legal name, and people who know me by my (primary) alias. And with one exception, that's because the people who know my legal name (a) knew it before learning my alias (if at all), and (b) only have my alias for finding me on social media, and probably don't even think about it beyond that. But I've not done anything to hide the link between the two (so zero points for figuring it out), it's just the way things fell. OTOH, I think of 'dreikin' as more myself in some ways than my legal name, probably because I interact more online than off.



  • My online alias came from real life, bestowed by the one guy in the office who assigned nicknames to everybody, so there's no point in trying to pretend it's not me.



  • I wouldn't basically because everyone in my country would write it as: eldelchel and I already have to spell my last name.

    But if you search my nickname, it won't take you long to figure out my IRL name. This is why I try to stick to not so public forums to let all my craziness flow.



  • I definitely try to keep my online name separate from my real name, JostlingDragon82.



  • I created this username specifically for this site. I'm not RTapeLoadingError anywhere else.

    I do get called by my real life nickname by lots of people, my wife included.



  • I have a name here, a name for internet gaming, and a name for card based internet gaming.

    Never shall those worlds meet.



  • I generally think up a new name for every online community I go to. Sometimes it's a well-thought-out name, other times - just my mood at registration time. Sometimes I stick around with less than quality names, as I'm sure you can see.

    Keeps me on my metaphorical feet.

    EDIT: Also, I make all my avatars in MS Paint.



  • I wouldn't mind using my alias in offline life — within certain contexts (the issue of multiple personas has already been brought up).

    I'd have to come up with something more unique though. Search the web for "Zecc" and you'll get plenty of results, but they aren't me. I donut have a big presence on the web, by choice.



  • I'm using a random alias, because I don't want to be held responsible for some nonsense that somebody else posts - see "wilters, morbius" as a possible example.

    The old forum had enough truly over-the-top stuff that you would really not want to defend in front of your boss...

    Separation of roles.


  • Fake News

    @Arantor said:

    I am actually kind of weird about hearing my real name because I'm so not used to dealing with real human beings that people using my actual given name is kind of rare. And using my real name tends to inspire a certain... mild fear at times.

    Well hello, Mr. Anderson…



  • I have multiple online aliases, none of them strongly linked to my real name -- you'd have to get a dump of email addresses to get close, and then find mine in the list. Some of them -- like the one I use here, which is derived from a character I play in Eve Online -- would be more-or-less suitable for use IRL, others are simply a bit too odd, or just not workable. On the other hand, though, the character in question is a walking mini-Bobby-Tables in much the same way the O'Learys and O'Connors of the world are...

    There are good reasons why I don't want to link all my aliases together, though!



  • Oh, no. I would never do something so dorky...


  • Discourse touched me in a no-no place

    @algorythmics said:

    a name for internet gaming, and a name for card based internet gaming.

    Heaven forfend the poker players find out you play WoW.



  • I only use my online handles IRL when I happen to be talking to people from that community, so they already know me that way. I'm only boomzilla here and at meta.d.

    Most of my other handles are based on my name, and don't really treat my identity as private, per se. I do that to keep myself in check in places that deserve that sort of behavior.


  • sockdevs

    @JBert said:

    Well hello, Mr. Anderson…

    My name is Arantor.



  • I don't really use my personal name IRL. I always go by my surname or a nickname derived therefrom (this was caused by the family member that shared the surname responding when I was called). I've used this handle for longer than I used my first name to refer to me so if I cared about government records being accurate I guess I'd change it, but I don't and it is kinda handy to know whoever is calling doesn't know me as they call me by my first name.



  • @Keith said:

    I definitely try to keep my online name separate from my real name, JostlingDragon82.

    My real name is actually XXX_GokuPiccalo82_XXX.



  • Come on, no need to get nasty.

    I'm so crappy at picking my online identities, I guess I'm glad I wasn't involved in picking my real name.


  • Discourse touched me in a no-no place

    @locallunatic said:

    I always go by my surname or a nickname derived therefrom

    When I first started working where I am now, there were 3 people in an office of 12 named Steve.



  • @FrostCat said:

    there were 3 people in an office of 12 named Steve.

    Something like that (smaller percentage but larger number of shared First Names) is why I first switched.



  • @FrostCat said:

    When I first started working where I am now, there were 3 people in an office of 12 named Steve.

    Also in a small office, we have two Steves, two Johns, a Timothy, and then I'm Timothy John. I can't go by my first or middle names without adding to the confusion! Oh and I can't go by my last name either because a sibling works in the same office.

    When I have kids I'm going to choose uncommon names.


  • Discourse touched me in a no-no place

    @mott555 said:

    When I have kids I'm going to choose uncommon names.

    BTDT. I named my daughter Maeve. Approximately nobody can pronounce that; the most common is "Mauve." WTF?



  • How should it be pronounced? Mauve was my first guess.


  • Discourse touched me in a no-no place

    Long A, rhymes with save.

    I always tell people it's a good thing I didn't use the Gaelic spelling Medb, but people could hardly get it more wrong than they already are.



  • I've always liked the name Ioana.

    Try to pronounce it on the first try. You did it wrong.



  • @mott555 said:

    When I have kids I'm going to choose uncommon names.

    You can have a boy named Sue!


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