A person who is notorious for using an alternate identity, albeit not on the internet, is known as Banksy. This person, from the United Kingdom took using an alternate identity to a whole new level. He began with simply small paintings and other kinds of street arts, and he is a director of movies as well. People seem to think alternate identities always lead to negative effects. Bansky was well known for his graffiti art work on the streets. While the government has been well known for cracking down on people for vandalism when it comes to graffiti, but the majority of people see this as a positive thing. What this really shows is the ability for someone to use an alternate identity to be who he wants to be. Something he would be unable to do while using his real name.
I think that is the real point behind using an alternate identity. People are scared to show off who they are and who they want to be. An alternate identity allows people to feel human, and feel like themselves. While Banksy may be a famous example of people that have been using alternate identities, there are plenty of people on the daily that change who they are just so they can feel more comfortable. The Internet is a great place that allows for these things to occur and people to feel hidden behind their computer screen.
Another group of people who use the internet to hide behind an alternate identity are known as Anonymous. They describe themselves as internet crusaders and use the internet to release secrets and bring down websites they feel should not be on the internet. While these things are against the law if they were using their real identities and people knew who they were, they are able to do whatever they want thru their identities. No one besides themselves know who they are, and they feel like their message can be heard. Once again, this is a situation where alternate identities are benefitting people to be who they want to be. While it can be argued that this is a negative thing, that is not the point of the argument. The point being made is that alternate identities help people be who they want to be, rather than the person they may have to pretend to be.
Lastly, sometimes people will use there identities to hurt people. That is the problem with people who use their alternate identities to be cyberbullies. They can easily hide behind a veil of anonymity and do whatever they want. However, in recent years, hiding your identity has become harder and harder, mainly due to the introduction of social media and people keeping track of each other in ways that did not use to be possible when times were different. I think alternate identities are extremely important, whether it is for writing a book or changing who you are when you are somewhere else.