I'm relatively new to Stack so I was just wondering if there are reasons why you wouldn't want to display your real name. Thank you.
First of all: there is no requirement to associate your SE profile with your real life identity, it is a personal preference to do so or not.
The reasons to do that are also personal and diverse.
Some people thrive in anonymity (you don't even have to create an account to participate on SE) as their questions, opinions and recommendations should speak for themselves. Q&A's need not be backed by a "real name" to be "more valid" or "better".
Your online personal interests, questions, opinions and recommendations may not always reflect well on current and potential/future customers/employers/spouses and/or friends. Hence a nick name on your profile rather than a real name.
Others might desire the opposite, they don't want anonymity and want to be personally recognised for their SE contributions.
An SE profile based on your real identity might be part of a larger online presence and can be used to support your social network, career, products and/or business.
Pretty much what HBrujin said.
Reasons why you might not want to use your real name:
- If you're going to ask questions like, say, "My employer is an idiot and they want me to do this stupid thing. How can I talk them out of it?"
Reasons why you might want to use your real name:
- To impress current and future employers.
- If you're a consultant and want to drum up business.
For me the reason would be privacy.
Employers can search the internet for you when you change jobs.
Worst Case: They find that you have written questions badly or were unsuccessful without help from someone resulting in you not getting the job you want.