I have talked about disclosure of identity in Second Life here and here. You know, some people decide to keep details of their real life hidden from others when interacting inside Second Life. Some people, for example, choose not to tell where they are from, of what their gender is, or their age.
I respect those people who choose not to disclose. In fact, I hide many of my real life details from others. However, and after some time living with this, I have come to the conclusion that non-disclosure has a paradoxical consequence. It works like this.
First of all, let us assume that you withhold some basic details about your real life. By “basic details” I mean something that most people would observe and talk about in real life, such as your nationality, gender, age or place of residence. You refuse to disclose that information, and when asked about it, you don’t answer.
The primary consequence of such a behaviour is that people, in absence of information, will make assumptions. In other words, people will create an image of what they believe is the right answer to their unanswered question, possibly drawing from what they can observe in you. For example, if somebody refuses to disclose their age but speak like a teenager, most people will end up assuming that he/she is a teenager. Similarly, if somebody refuses to disclose their real life gender but presents a female avatar, most people will assume he/she is a female.