Truth be told, this isn’t the way I’d originally planned to do this.
I had every intention of saying everything I wanted to say with my real face and name plastered all over it. At the end of the day, I’d happily share any of the opinions I will in blogs, or tweets, or videos in person, so why wouldn’t I put my name and face beside everything I release? It’s actually quite simple– employability.
I had a job interview the other week for a media company, and they insisted that I hand over my handles for the usual laundry list of social media accounts. In the past, I’d always either handed them over or pointed out that they were private, but this wouldn’t fly here. I’d recently been very vocal regarding Trump, Brexit, BLM, etc on Twitter. The friend who got me the interview had a very particular political bent, and it was pretty obvious from the get-go that it was shared more or less wholesale in this office. Now, I don’t much care what people’s political opinions are in the sense that I like a good debate and don’t generally dismiss people out of hand, but I could see then that we were going to have a problem.
I bumbled about not being able to remember my handle and said I’d fire it over when I got home. Of course, I didn’t for a moment consider the “I don’t have Twitter” line, going instead with idiot-who-thinks-I-don’t-know-he-has-a-smartphone. I’d already gotten the new follower notification on the way home and hadn’t had chance to sanitise my profile in the intervening minutes. Nonetheless, I went full scorched earth and removed anything that could be viewed as inflammatory. I did not get the job.
Having already cleaned shop, I decided that I needed an alter ego…