The "What is Real?" question about virtual existence has brought about tons of questionable aspects of our real life.
Names: What are names? Well if you pay the right people and fill out the right documents..."Poof" you now have a REAL company because it has a unique NAME! Did it exist before? Well, yeah you were working on it for awhile before you decided you wanted to be official. So giving it a NAME makes it real.
Back in the farming days people raised animals. I remember being told NOT to name the animals that were destined to be on the table, because you can not eat a pet. Naming an animal made it a real entity not just a future dinner.
Naming is a very powerful intimate association. It sets the level of engagement between two people. If someone you don't know comes up to you and says "Mr. Smith great to have you with us today", you respond in a formal mode. That addressed-name gave you your interaction path.
However, if someone you don't know comes up to you and calls you by your first name and slaps you on the back, you instantly start racking your brain for any past association with this individual that would bring it into the familiar. You have again been given an interaction path.
So when you create something, a drawing, painting, poem, song, product, a lot rests on that name, because it will announce how the expected interaction path should go.
Online we take new names. These new names are meant also to direct our interactions. They tell in advance if you want to be considered in a certain strata of society. PunkRocker, DumbBlonde, VetReturned, SmackMyAss, ProfessorKnowItAll, QueenofAll, PriestofEverything...so many ways of naming our envisionment of ourselves.
Just like in real life those lovely titles that people add to their names is suppose to give a certain framework in another's perceptions.
These are only aspects of us; not us in entirety. We are called by many different names and respond differently to each. If someone addresses you as Pastor Bob, there is a list of characteristics and mannerisms that you pull from a file in your head that says this is how I interact.
However, when you get home and your wife says, "Come here lover." you pull from a whole different folder. Does that mean only the one with the official name is real?
They ALL are Real because they are names you accept as a folder composite of your characteristics.
So is the name you use online real? If you accept it as real. If others know what perceived interactions are associated with that name, it is just as much a real folder composite of you as any of your other names.
My question to you is? At what point in time and what selection of folders will you bring into the entity that you are designing as the final YOU.
Discard the names that you do not identify with. If your childhood name was pee-pants, that is no longer you. Do the examination of all your folder names as you work toward the guru's advice of being one and whole.
Whatever final composite of you that you create, examine it. Don't let others choose your names unless that is an interaction you wish to embrace. You do have the final control over that package. Enjoy the exploration.