By Kara Matuszewski (aka karamat), Reporter

BOSTON (CBS) — When you meet someone in real life, they often introduce themselves with their name and maybe their company’s name. But when you’re meeting someone online, that’s not always how it happens.

An email address or Twitter handle or Skype name may not be someone’s real name, but instead introduce you to their pet, hobby or favorite sports team.

Whether this works or is appropriate depends on whom you ask. When creating these user names, it’s appropriate to think about how the accounts will be used. In some cases, having an alias allows someone to be loud, opinionated and crass. But when it comes to personal or business interactions, it may be more beneficial to have your name, or variation thereof, as your online moniker.

“The important thing is consistency. As long as an alias is something that you use everywhere you should be OK,” said Mike Schneider, a technology consultant in Boston. “People want to talk to people. Make sure that they know who is behind the account and can establish a relationship with the person behind the (transparent shower) curtain.”

Jeff Cutler, a social media trainer, agrees that people should focus on transparency. Using your own name, he says, makes it easier for search engines, companies, friends and family to find you.

However, he adds if someone is sending out updates associated with their business, it may be appropriate to put the business’ name in the user name.


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