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An Online Identity Crisis

As I start to put together what will at some point hopefully be a more cohesive online identity it becomes increasingly apparent that ultimately my problem becomes one of "What do I want that online identity to be". I began to consider and weigh if there were parts of my identity that I wished to whitewash or attempt to clean in an attempt to better market myself to the public at large. This is weighed against my fear that in doing so I will ultimately become disingenuous and thus a poor representation of self.

The fundamental question of if I sacrifice who I am in favor of making a more presentable self. It's a notion that weighs heavy on me as I prepare to try and make a more cohesive presentation of self here on the internet as a whole. Do I talk about my depression? Do I talk about my issues with sexuality? Do I talk about my political stances? Where do I draw the line of what is publically alright to disclose, what is kosher to discuss, and what should be held back?

I ask the question of what good I am to others if I narrow my topics so that I can simply present myself as yet another security researcher, or yet another podcaster, or yet another this or that. If I wish to offer something honest and unique how can I do so without discussing the parts of myself that by and large I consider to be shameful or perhaps less then kosher?

Sure these days it's easier to talk about depression, that's less a taboo subject then before, but what about other issues? What about issues of sexuality and combatting the various matters which compose that? Do I talk about my fears with medical matters in my life? Are they not relevant to present who I am?

The truth of the matter is that I am trying to create this "Brand" this notion of "Alnarra" the brand which represents an online idealized self of Shawn Miller the human. How much of my digital footprint do I clean up and make presentable so that brand is worth something? Do I clean up any of it at all or do I freely and willingly discuss the matters that are forefront at my mind? Do I talk about my flirtations with the furry community, or the digital roleplay community? Does that not detract from the "Brand"?

Worse yet how much of this should I keep under wraps for the purpose of making sure a present or future employer doesn't see me as a liability rather than an asset. I work in a field that is notorious for being able to dig through someone's digital presence be it for good reasons or bad. I myself have gone to great lengths so that part of my skill and tool set includes the ability to dissect someone's digital ID based on snippets of information that they leave behind.

Should I not in my own sense be afraid that with relatively little information someone will leave the clues I have left behind for blackmail or hiring decisions? How much do I weigh my fear of living up to the societal template against my want to be presentable and digestible to society as a whole? My socialist views hold up rather poorly in a nation which is founded and so heavily operated by the capitalist and conservative mindset.

My take on sexuality and presence lay in direct contradiction to the perceived notion of what is and is not ok to display publically. But to cleanse these items, to remove them also in a way removes the whole picture of who I am, what I 'want' to be. How do I reconcile these two existing frameworks the dream of what I wish to be versus the framework of what society expects me to be?

Do I challenge the status quo? Do I talk about that F-list profile that would take anyone a really short amount of time to find? Do I talk about the furraffinity account? Or do I simply avoid those topics altogether because they are uncomfortable?  Who is Alnarra really? Is it a sanitized joke where I only pretend the cat icon is for laughs?

It's a complex question that perhaps scares me. Do I forsake the security of societal acceptance in favor of being true to myself, and if so who am I?


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