Balancing an online identity is extremely difficult.

As a teen on the internet, its unforgiving permanent nature is genuinely scary. I’ve made my fair share of embarrassing posts, and I’ve been fortunate to have no one see them where a future version of me can shred their existence. However, I feel envious and fearful viewing the carefreeness of others in managing their personas.

The development of self-consciousness in my online personas makes managing the ones I use especially tense. It’s hard to separate yourself into unique masks and leave no trace of the previous one you were wearing. This idea of the permanence in this identity colours this presentation.

By my full admission, Protoconal is a public-facing professional identity. Being a person with a disparate lump of abandoned and active accounts and handles makes the interplay of changing between disguises online challenging. So, in designing a cohesive professional identity in a world dominated by the requirement of an online presence, I have been forced to expose my real identity.

Though the birth of this new identity is tied to my reality, the threat of someone uniting all the parts of my digital footprint is extra stressful. I hope the day never comes when a potential employer finds out that I enjoy reading romance novels.

Or worse, my art Instagram account.

(I’d say I’ve done a pretty good job at being barren on the internet, though you can tie me together. {I AM NOT CHALLENGING YOU.} It’s also awkward to share some of my interests.)

Original Date of Writing: 3/20/2022 - 1:04 AM