Most people recognize that within fandoms, a person will have an identity. They don’t, however, realize just how far that reaches. Not only will an online identity be different for different fandoms, but they can also be varied within fandoms. There are many ways to portray yourself online; essentially, the possibilities are endless. When portraying yourself online, you can do or be anyone you want. This can lead to discovering sides of yourself you didn't even know you had.


Creating an Identity
Most networking sites will ask the basic questions concerning you when you sign up. Most people lie. This is what creates the ability to have online identities. Online, there is more freedom to say what you would never say as yourself. A person can create the person they wish to be, whether it be age, race, looks, or personality; everything is customizable. A person can become someone new through their avatar. The internet provides the anonymity necessary to accomplish this. There is no way to tell that you are not a gorgeous blonde who likes long walks on the beach and Star Wars when in reality the person most likely spends most of their time online on Tumblr. One such are this fails is when people lie.

Lying About Your Identity
I spoke with someone online who is friends with a male who did online roleplaying. One instance in which he was roleplaying smut, the girl lied about her age, thus creating an identity or version of herself in which she was older. Of course, this is a horror story and it turned out she was underage. Her parents pressed charges and the man is now serving time in jail and will be registered as a sex offender for the rest of his life simply for talking about sex online with an underage girl. Obviously, this is somewhat extreme, but most don't realize how serious the laws are on this.

That's why many sites have an age limit or restriction. But what is there to stop someone from lying? Most have lied about their age somewhere on the internet whether it be on a social networking site such as facebook or myspace, a blog site such as tumblr or while talking to an actual person through chats and messaging. Most people don't realize how bad this can get.

Team Rocket from the Pokemon series

Where the Lines Blur
Most people involved in fandom are associated with cosplay, or costume play. It is essentially a safe environment for people to act out their fantasies of their favorite canons and interact with people of the same interest. Many people use this to engage more in fandom, thus creating another identity in their minds. Sometimes this intersects with online identities. This has even bridged into online roleplaying with many fandoms on forum sites, tumblr, facebook, and even twitter. With online roleplaying, it is just another of many opportunities to be another person and act like them.


For more on this, you can look at:
How Does Fandom Affect Perception of Gender and Sexuality?
What does fandom have to do with gender and sexual identity?

How is pornography perceived in fandom?
Tumblr Round-Up: ‘The FP’ – Franchise Internet Fandom – ‘Star Wars’ Art-Work – ‘Community’ – ‘Walking Dead’ and more
Cosplayer's Creed