Your email address should reflect not just who you are, but who you want to be. The reason for this is simple: you’re a creator, and you want to present yourself as a professional. This is easy enough to do in this age of free email identities. (All you’re giving up is your privacy, because you become the product, but that’s a totally different discussion altogether.)
As an editor, I’ve seen a lot of ill-conceived email addresses contact me. I just roll my eyes and sigh, trying to ignore the name the person has given themselves, and look to see if they’re actually better than what they’ve named themselves. Does “email@example.com” have anything original to say? Anything worthwhile?
I tell creators all the time to get something free (like Gmail) because it will never go away, and to pick something that at least has a semblance of maturity behind it. When you’re looking for a job, it’s easy enough to be lumped into a category you don’t want to be in, and it might be a challenge to break out of that once you’ve been painted with that brush.
The same goes for your screen names on message boards. Just stop and think for a moment…if you’re trying to make a name for yourself, why are you making a different persona for yourself? How are people supposed to find you and then know you’re the same person?
I know at least three people who changed their names online once they realized what I was saying, and they’ve had better results in their work because of it. Anecdotes don’t make for evidence, I know, however, you have to start somewhere.
Being the same person everywhere will also make you more careful about what you say and how you say it. Anyone can be an asshole hiding behind a screen name, but when you’re using your real name (or your professional one), your words and actions will have repercussions.
I know there will be some that will balk at this idea. They have a lot invested in their email and screen names. They don’t want to lose contact with people, because they’ve had the same screen name for a decade or more. However, you’ll get over it eventually. If people are trying hard to find you, they’ll eventually dig up someone you know or knew, and reach you soon enough.
Just give it a thought. (And yes, I just made up the "nakedmonkey9" addy. If someone is actually there...I apologize.)