I’ve just invented a word although that seems very unlikely. If you can prove a usage prior to mine, let me know. The word is: ghostpuppet.
You may know about sockpuppets . Here’s the definition from Wikipedia:
“A sockpuppet is an online identity used for purposes of deception within an online community. In its earliest usage, a sockpuppet was a false identity through which a member of an Internet community speaks with or about himself or herself, pretending to be a different person, like a ventriloquist manipulating a hand puppet.”
You may have also heard of meatpuppets. Meatpuppets are other people, friends, relatives, employees, slaves whom we get to promote us online while they keep their relationship to us secret.
Ghostpuppets are different. Say you find yourself spending too much time online at a “social networking” site. Someplace like authonomy maybe. And finally you break away and leave. Only the real world is a cold and lonely place where no one wants to hear your theories about literature and speculation about publishing. So you go back. Only you tell yourself it’s just to play, just to forumcate a bit. But you’re not quite out, not quite yourself. Some people know who you are. Some don’t recognize you. You’ve got a new screen name and a gender neutral avatar. You are in some ways a shadow of your previous self. Not a sockpuppet as you have nothing to promote and no other identity. A ghost.
Also do I get bonus points for forumcate? The noun form is forumcation. The definition is “to spend endless hours on a forum posting shit.” Or as my British friends say “shite.”