What's the future of having multiple personas online?

Illustration for article titled What's the future of having multiple personas online?

Everybody's probably experimented, at one time or another, with creating alternate personas. After all, one of the big promises of the internet was always that you could reinvent yourself — and that different iterations of your "self" could coexist at the same time.

The uses for alternate personas are almost as numerous as the number of "people" you can be at once. Some of them are somewhat malicious, like cheating on your partner or using sock puppets to bolster internet drama. Others are completely noble, like speaking truth to power or exploring a side of yourself that could cause you problems in the workplace or with your family, if you were open about it.

But will we still be able to create multiple personas in the future? Or will too many websites, like Facebook and Google, insist on a "real" identity? Even if there are ways to get around the requirement to use your legal name on websites, will you be forced to stick to just one name and persona? Or will the internet keep giving us ways to divide ourselves up, so we can be different people in different contexts — just like we do to a lesser extent in the "real" world?


What do you think is the future of multiple identities online?

Top image: Photoinnovation/Shutterstock.com

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Ruthless, if you let me

I am entirely too lazy for multiple personas online. While I use a nom-de-plume (sp?) here, you generally get the same person in real life.