davidtshank.com
The Cowardice of Anonymity | Lies by David T. Shank
For a long time, no one knew my real name on the Internet. I know what you're thinking: "But that's just good Internet safety practice!" And yes, that's true. If you're young or famous, it's probably best to have a fake identity to participate in normal interactions on the Internet and protect yourself. But my online alias continued well into my twenties. I wasn't trying to protect myself, and I wasn't trying to be cutesy, either. I think, in a way, I was trying to establish myself as a brand. I was afraid that if I were to change how people saw me online, they would forget who I was. Yeah, I think I was a bit of a tool, too. Then I met someone who used his full name online. His handle was his first and last name, his avatar was a picture of himself, the show he briefly ran on YouTube was his name plus the word "Show." Eventually, I was in that show. At first, I thought this was all very uncreative. Why use your real name instead of construct a username out of things you like? Then I