On audience.

I will admit that having a “professional online portfolio” online makes me really nervous, as I have taken pains over the past few years to scrub as much of myself as I can from the Web for various reasons, none of which I am willing to go into here. I go through phases where I’m fine with what I have online, and then suddenly I’m less fine with it and go underground, taking down weblogs, hiding on semi-private sites, etc.

Another thing I’m prone to doing is scrubbing parts of my online self that I don’t want other people to see because it will cause RL drama. Taking down my weblogs in the early 2000s after they were found by work colleagues is one example. Restricting personal posts on a private website after someone from a previous life (mentioned in my mudder post) appeared on the site’s discussion board was another.

Here’s another from an hour ago: I have a private Twitter account with a handful of followers. Someone I know from Blacksburg who is not in town at the moment requested to follow it. Before I approved the request, I scrolled back through hundreds and hundreds of tweets to remove references to things I thought might damage his sensibilities.

I have written online for what seems like ever fully aware of the unseen “audience” and the upsides/downsides of that. I miss being able to write completely freely online. That’s one of the reasons why I keep making up new screennames completely unconnected with each other. I keep trying to get that freedom back. But it’s never coming back.