There’s a lot to be said about how an individual presents themselves on the internet. Many individuals are very invested in their identity, whether their identity appears as an “avatar” on the internet or not. Is the avatar really you, however?
Of course not, it’s just a projection that appears on a screen somewhere if someone comes across a webpage with your name and/or picture. Even if it’s really your (legal) name and an actual picture of you it’s still not really you. It’s just a representation. So you’re definitely right that there’s no reason that it should affect what you feel to be the integrity of you as a person. It’s just an avatar. Not that you’re looking for affirmation.
Of course one’s legal name does exist in some real sense, and if you want to be a journalist and write for a living, then there definitely is a lot of sense to be found writing under this name. But if your goal is to spread messages and the avatar is just part of the vehicle? Then you’re free to be a male or a female. Free to be young or old. Attractive or unattractive. You’re free to have a Slavic or Germanic name. Whatever serves the purpose more effectively. Who would believe that individuals cease to be superficial when they interact through the internet?
So what stops me from publishing under my “real” name? My so-called “real” avatar exists among the other avatars, and if an avatar is constructed carefully you can’t tell the difference most of the time.
Not that I am too careful most of the time. A lot of people are not very perceptive and lack curiosity. And what’s there for me to protect? My “real” avatar is just another avatar to me, but I have different goals and intentions I suppose.