Jun 262003

Again, presented by green_muse.

Is your online persona different from the real you. if yes, how so? if no, how do you feel about people who are different online than in their real lives?

No, not anymore. But there was a time that it was.

You see, I’ve been online as Critus since 1989. I got the name from a friend of mine who was trying to convert me to Wicca, and he has been my avatar in many different worlds. It was my bulletin board name, and the name of more than one of my role playing game characters. It has been my username in one form or another in every online endeavor I have explored except for one time, back in the early nineties, when I was specifically trying to avoid someone on a board. Then I used the moniker Dodger (as in “The Artful”).

When I originally started using the name I was a very overweight, highly insecure, virgin. Critus was not. Critus was this rakish, bold, trash talking comedian that flirted with all the ladies and didn’t take shit from anyone. One of the bulletin boards that I was on, I was known as the “Conference Pressure Cooker” because I would viciously attack anyone who dared to have a different viewpoint from mine, and I would do so in a very personal manner.

Yeah, Critus was a bit of an asshole.

Over the years, we’ve kind of merged. I really don’t see much difference between us anymore. I’ve grown so comfortable with the name that I respond to it in public as if it were my real name, and it might as well be. There are people who I have met in real life who only call me Critus. Hell, the Jacksonville crowd was that way for a while.

These days, Critus is basically an extension of Me. What you see is what you get.

I can’t say anything bad about people who are more “liberated” when hiding behind an avatar, because I used to be. It’s my hope, however, that as the internet continues to grow and expand and our world becomes smaller because of it that people will be more comfortable just being themselves. This is a great medium for making friends, but that’s hard to do if you’re trying to be someone you aren’t.

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  1. Amen.

    I could tell a very similar story.

    Maladrin was also an rpg name which ended up becoming my non de plume when I started using the internet frequently. I took the handle and the “character” with it for a while. Especially when I was on undernet and less frequently on efnet.

  2. The last paragraph is brilliant. Absolutely dead on.

    As for the rest of it, I can kind of relate. I never really had much self-esteem in early life, personally. So I adopted Krystalle.

    Been behind that moniker ever since.

    and I agree. Early on, she was a girl who fought and took hard times and refused to bow to anyone’s mandates.

    Now she’s just me. The woman who’s walked through the fires of hell and come back able to smile.

    I like the way your mind works. If I ever make it down to Tampa, Dave’s going to have to introduce us. 🙂

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