"Being Real Online" Offers Family Discussion Topic

MLWGS students and families are invited to explore this week’s dinner table topic from the pilot program of Global Citizens Online:

Observation: Often people’s online identities differ from how they present themselves in-person.

Question: What choices are your family members making about who they are online? Consider some or all of the following sub-questions:


  • Are there traits you each emphasize (or de-emphasize) in certain online communities? Talk about why.
  • How do you balance authenticity with privacy? Share your insights. You might surprise each other.
  • Some people use pseudonyms online just like some writers historically have in print (e.g. J.K. Rowling published Cuckoo’s Calling under the name Robert Galbraith last year). Is it the same online? Why or why not?
  • Do you feel the same about avatars as you do about pseudonyms? If not, what makes them different?
  • What are the benefits and risks of using pseudonyms/avatars v. your real name?