I have a few names I use for different things, and some online identities I’ve had for a decade or more that are familiar to certain groups of my friends. A more public blog, easily identified as me by anyone with whom I’ve spoken for more than 20 minutes, exists along with a widely known (among my friends) nom de plume.
The reason to hide my identity is obvious: I don’t want my personal life to be connected to my professional life. IRL, I am easily findable. I have quotes that appear in social columns, which show up in a business search and it sort of sucks because I don’t want people with whom I do business to necessarily know what wine I drink or parties I attend. It’s fine that my boards show up, former jobs, companies with which I am still affiliated, but my life is complex and that’s reflected in my google searches.
When I realized my real life twitter showed up in google, I locked it and stopped tweeting — not that I ever posted much. It’s more a way to track clients. The twitter for this site is all real stuff, but I don’t want to post about restaurants, boutiques or songs and accidently out myself. Again.
The identity I want least to reveal is this one, of course, since it’s my diary and I am very honest here. By the same token, I want to be able to twitter real life things without it hitting work, so I created a new identity, a new twitter account, and perhaps eventually, a new blog that’s more of a combo of this (my real real life, though anonymous) and a public private life. Or something.
In addition, I have a stage name, 4 names I use to sign up for stuff that are all truncations of my actual name, and now, 3 separate twitter accounts.
No wonder BFD gets nervous about my multiple email addresses. There really are multiple mes, and only two of us use my real picture.