I confess to being conflicted about how I view online handles. On one hand, folks who insist on going by their online handle well into middle age make me laugh if they’re still doing it with the idea that they’re protecting their identity. It seems like more of an affectation at that point, especially for fanciful names like Ninja Unicorn Slasher Bunny*, and I’m very over pomposity. I mean, I had a good imagination in the sandbox too, but I’m not wearing Underoos anymore either.
On the other hand, nicknames are nothing new, and it can be weird to hear someone called by their government ID name when nobody calls them that. My handle’s a nickname given to me forty years ago, but I don’t use it as my sole identity and definitely don’t in a work setting.
Maybe I’m just expressing a personal disdain for pretension in general. I think most folks are interesting in their own right without making up their own legend. Investing too much in an image smacks of insecurity to me, which promotes the opposite of the intended effect.
*No, I don’t know anybody called that