Online Identity

published

More than two years ago I wrote a small essay about Identity and Self-Expression. That essay was written in response to Chris’ submission to the Gravatar contest. At the time, I advocated for people to use whatever identity they wanted to use when communicating online. I still generally support that position.

It was extremely interesting to me, though, to review the email addresses people used when checking in for the Ohio LinuxFest. Of the people who registered with a GMail address, the overwhelming majority of those people used their full name as their email address in the form first.m.last@gmail.com. A smaller percentage of folks omitted the middle initial.

I’ve been mulling this over for quite some time. I’m not entirely sure what to make of it, if anything; and I don’t have a larger body of email addresses against which to compare to determine if a lot of people are using their full name, or just some sub-section of tech- and net-savvy geeks. I personally find it interesting, but find it hard to articulate specifically why.

Do you use your full name for your email address? Why?


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