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With our real names and profile pictures leaving little to the imagination, all the mystery is gone.

And, ironically enough, the more society is forced to name itself and show an honest face, the more superficial and less genuine many online interactions become.

Anonymity comes at a price, especially if you’re targeted for abuse, but we gave something up when we began to focus on using our real identities in so many places.

Emily is Away made me feel like I was once again a clueless teenager looking for love, rather than an ambitious 20-something seeking acceptance.

My mom received a seemingly endless supply of America Online (AOL) discs in the mail for free trials.

Since the entire game takes place in faux chat boxes, the mechanics are designed to call attention to the act of chatting itself.

Emily is Away, a recently released free-to-play text adventure game on Steam, tells a similar story, albeit with a different beginning and ending.

In Emily is Away, you talk to Emily, a girl from your high school, over the course of five different chapters, all the way from senior year of high school until senior year of college.

The lack of personal repercussions, combined with the ability to hide and retreat with just the press of the power button, can help insecurities fall to the wayside during instant messenger chat sessions — for good or ill.

It was a fascinating phenomenon that’s all but gone in today’s age of social networking.

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