Alias names in real life?

Does any of you use an alias name in real life situations? I know nicknames are not uncommon. What do you think about only using an alias name when you interact with strangers? And what happens when you build a relationship and decide to say it’s not your real name? Would you come off as a weirdo? What kind of experience do you have with this?

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I’d say it depends on what kind of situation you are in. Because giving out a fake name during a real world interaction with someone can hurt your credibility down the line if it is later revealed that you have lied to them.

Especially when you have built a relationship with someone, they may start questioning if even your name was a lie then how many more lies have you told them?

I would say first ask yourself what threat are you trying to protect against and what kind of relationship you plan to have with that person. If you are concerned about them looking you up on social media for example, maybe give them a version of your real name you don’t typically use. For example, Richard instead of Rick. That way technically you are not lying to them.

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My real life name is common so using a nickname my entire life has been natural. When someone uses my real first name I know they are in a category.
If am called by another name, family and school friends. Another name adult friends.
Full legal name. It’s the Law or my Mom either way I’m in trouble!
I introduce myself by saying my friends call me “nick name”, this is sincere.

Yesterday I picked up a Walmart curbside pickup. The Walmart employee (I don’t know what they are called) announced the name on the pickup. J.D. Wilkerson. I said that’s us. He does not care, just doing his job.

If I was someone who you could not determine what race I was easily, the folks at Starbucks would catch hell.

Definitely depends on the situation, like you said it’d be very weird to reveal you’ve been lying about your name to someone who you intend to talk to a lot.

I do use an alias at stores/cafes/restaurants/etc., partly for privacy reasons, mostly because I don’t want to explain how to spell my name every time :slight_smile:

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Nothing but a funny personal story

I normally use an alias in similar situations as well. The funny bit is I continually made the mistake of using them when I went on first dates with people without warning them beforehand. So there was always this look of fear/confusion when I’d use a different name to order things and I’d have to go “OH NO I normally give out a fake name to restaurants and shops :ok_hand: (just trying to play it cool)

I started learning to either warn beforehand or just use a shortened version of my name around people I’m not close with yet

When I began writing my blog under the pseudonym ‘The Privacy Dad’, I’d not considered I might be interacting with people online, via emails or even be in video calls. I don’t want to use my real name, because I write about my kids and the rules we have at home around IT and privacy. It feels a bit tacky or even insulting to sign off with The Privacy Dad though, once you start developing a rapport with someone, either in an email thread or in a video call. I now sign emails with TPD, will give my first name when there are longer email conversations occasionally, but generally stick with anonymity.

Most of the people I know in real life don’t know I write a blog either. It’s an interesting position to be in.


I’ll go ahead and say that you probably need a very advanced threat model to need to use an alias in real life. You may want to use it for when an employee is asking for your email or something because at that point your info is on its way to surveillance capitalism machine, but otherwise I think you’re probably fine.

However, I have heard of people having a Starbucks name they use when they’re name gets confused a lot, lol.

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