Online Identity and Privacy

Every now and then, I have to bring up to someone why I would be nutty enough to post online with a RL name.  My best answer so far was part of a private forum discussion; re-posting the relevant part of that here:

For the individual, I believe its up to them to make up their minds regarding anonymity. In my case, I decided some time ago to mostly register under my RL name, but in return I decided to not have any involvement in social media, and limit any other public interactions. I also usually participate in forums where there are ‘account only’ sections (such as this site), as web crawlers will be unable to archive those posts. And for more public musings, I still have my private domain/site, which I point everyone to as the replacement for said social media.

Does this allow me to control ‘the message’ completely? No, and I have no interest in doing so. Not if I want to keep my sanity anyway. It does allow some control over what is associated with me, which is enough for my needs.

But I also do not recommend doing what I did without thinking through its implications.

This came up recently due to pointing a few folks to my site while under a different name – the one this site is named for.  But in reality, Sungak has been with me for so long, that I consider him as much of a RL name as the actual one.

As an identity, Sungak isn’t a bad choice.  In fact, he was originally played as an simpler version of myself, which allowed me to learn and grow socially in a safe manner.  But he eventually became much more than that.  He became a goal of sorts to strive for, and (in turn) an extension of myself.  At certain points of my life, he’s even become an anchor of sanity when everything else wants to break me down mentally.  Its an interesting symbiosis really.

As for his ‘age,’ I ran a few numbers and realized he’s nearly as old as I was when 9/11 happened.  He’s certainly been around for more than half my life now, which would explain how comfortable I am shifting between the two (if they even are different people at this point).  I really do need to listen to that part of me more often, as well; sometimes, I wonder if the Holy Spirit has taken up residence there, guiding me along a safe path.  *shrug*  I’ll never know, I suppose.