I don't use my real name because it ends up adding to my search engine results. I often times say stupid things or things that can be easily taken out of context on message boards that I'd prefer not be tied to my online persona.
My real name is readily available in my email address. I'm not hiding, just trying to look less psychotic.
For those who have been posting on internet message boards, forums, or commenting on online news articles for more than a year or two and consistently use their real name, do a Google search on your name. You might be shocked, delighted, or impressed with what you find.
Doesn't matter to me what people want to call themselves. I picked my screen name in memory of a dog I had for 15 years. My furry friend died about the time I started visiting discussion forums so I chose to honor him in this manner. (Chewy was already taken so I went with Chewybacca)
I think it is kind of silly to assume we are hiding from something, or are going to be rude, just because we use a different screen name.
edit- Many of us have our real names in our profile.
i guess that if enough people know you by your ST screenname it's pretty similar to using your real name. I fell like if you start insulting / criticizing people or post your opinion in aggressive ways it'd be cool to put a real name at the bottom of a post and en-able messages.
Mine dates from the dark ages when the internet was in it's infancy and I've just kept using it. Stems from an old joke about a russian climber (not funny), and I DO pop off sometimes.
In real life I'm Dave Antaya.
This is Dan Merrick but keep that to yourself. You probably remember me from our trip to Starr King with Clint.
I was in the habit of posting on forums and news groups with my name or some form form of it when I first signed up here. At that time it seemed like almost everybody here used a screen name and I assumed that was the tradition for this site.