There have been a number of answers to this question. The current is at the end of this list, The rest of this article can safely be skipped.
When I joined the internet - via my parent’s Compuserve account it never occoured to me to use my real name, so I went with a series of alias, gradually more self-referencial. Eventually I joined AFP and AFE as Aquarion and the rest is bunk.
Later on, as I passed into the psychoanalystic nightmare that passed for the last seven years or so, and my online life became the sane and rational place where people liked and respected me while my real life slowly collapsed around my ears (…to the melodramatic teenager me. The calmly cynical mid-twenties me sees it as a fairly normal secondary school hell) I began to split things that “Aquarion” did from the things I did in real life, which only grew more complicated when I started meeting these people in real life (A process which terrified my mum, and didn’t even occour to me to worry about). I wrote some reasonably long and incredibly dull pseudo-analysitic essays on the difference between me and Aquarion. Aquarion was a mask I wore, Aquarion was a heightened version of me, Aquarion was a fictional character (Which is true, Aquarion D’blue was originally the name for my Mage D&D character).
All of this, incidentally, is bollocks. What ever it was, when “Aquarion” started living with people who called him that, when Aquarion got a real girlfriend (Who was yet to cut the bottom from his world) there ceased to be any difference between the two. Aquarion is, effectivly, my name; so is Nicholas - and more people know me as the former than the latter. If it helps you to think about it, imagine Aquarion as my Screen name - as in movies rather than AOL. Whilst I tend to introduce myself as Nicholas to new people in real life, If I’m talking about myself in the third person (As I do too often) I tend to refer to myself as “Aquarion” rather than “Nicholas”.
It’s my name. Don’t wear it out.