Me and a friend of mine were joking the other day about how our online presences are totally schizophrenic—were always changing our usernames and profile pictures. Some days we hate social media and other days we don’t. We look at those who are “stable”, with one name and one iconic profile pic, and wonder why we can’t bring ourselves to be that way—you can’t help but compare yourself to them when they seem to garner more attention for it too.
I myself have always been juggling multiple personas. For the last three quarters of a year, I was masquerading as a bird on top of an anime girl’s head on Twitch and Twitter. I started to really dig the anonymity and playing the role. And then I got really sick of playing the role, and my actual self started to seep out. Then I was slowly becoming just a bird. Then I became an anime birdman that everyone seemed to hate. In one way I didn’t care about the whole scene anymore, but on the other hand, my friend had made me that design for me so I was feeling offended for them that it was catching slack. I think what made me mad more though was something kind of esoteric and hard to explain, something that no one but myself was really at fault for… I was trying to be more of “myself” with the birdman but it felt like people wanted to see it more as me being the character. But that’s due to my own miscalibration though, so I don’t know if I can really explain it in a way that anyone can understand and without coming off sounding whiny or ungrateful or something. Basically I wanted to not be taken seriously, so I was surprised when people were judging my “branding” efforts. It’s pretty dumb of me though to assume that anyone is not going to take it seriously though… I mean, wouldn’t I want them to take me seriously when I am trying to be serious? As I had less and less time for streaming, streaming started becoming a way for me to just not be lonely lol. The last video game I played by myself was Death Stranding and it put me in a mellow stupor for like a month. But the idea of playing NieR: Replicant with a friend occasionally strolling in to say Hi and watch for a few minutes, along with the ability for me to give myself some commentary, was starting to make the prospect of playing video games worth it again. Otherwise, the idea of playing a video game by myself was just too sad to even consider. Even if I don’t stream often, the stream itself is pretty cathartic for me, I guess, so it was putting a bad taste in my mouth when I kept thinking how my intentions were being misinterpreted—like that I was trying to be anything more than just a guy who sometimes streams.
The part that matters is that hanging out in that portion of the internet was fun for a while, and I met some really cool people there, but I eventually started coming back down into my old philosophy of that I should stick to my real name and identity for the most part. It was also very clear that I was not going to make any sort of commitment needed to be any kind of success at streaming. I also wanted to keep shilling my books lol. I wanted to mash all the parts of the internet I liked together into one identity but I had fractured it across several places.
But I just had too much god damn shit going on. I listed out all of the social media accounts and websites/pages associated with my name or “brand” and there are, at the very least, ten of them. I’ve always known that that number is unsustainable, but the idea was to go for a messy approach—try them all and then eventually see which ones stick. Fail often, fail fast. If you don’t do the conscious work of seeing which ones stick though then you just end up giving yourself social media schizophrenia as you have each one of these things in your brain taking up mental RAM.
But let’s keep this post short and get to the point…
This was seriously starting to affect my mood until I finally got a fucking grasp on myself. So here’s what I came up with and I am pretty happy with it:
On the left side we have the personal brand things that I want to continue doing for fun and for documentation.
On the right side we have the professional things.
The professional side includes the social media sites that I would want to use to impress someone, whether its peers or employers. The Instagram is just a bunch of normal-ass pictures of me, no funny stuff… partially it’s a smoke screen for future employers but also just a bit of a scrapbook and something to show normies who I am. LinkedIn and Github are for future job opportunities.
Separating the professional stuff was key, but the real untangling came from the left side. There was a bit of multi-dimensional efforts going on over there and I needed to organize them like a work flow.
But first, here are a few terms:
Flow: The kinds of things you make passively like tweets, streams, and other stuff that is easily lost to the ether. These are the kinds of things that are crap 80% of the time, but the rest of the time, might produce viable stock.
Stock: The more evergreen content that you’d like archived somewhere—stuff that you spend more than ten seconds crafting. This is the kind of stuff that arises when the good bits of your flow trickle down.
Product: When you get enough stock, you can perhaps turn it into product. For example, if I post on substack consistently for half a year, 20% of posts might be the ones good enough to make it into a book in the future.
So I had to organize this all into a kind of workflow. I’ve always been a writer and I want to write more, but I also started liking the idea of streaming and recording myself, so it had to boil down into something like this:
Use twitter to write silly thoughts
Silly thoughts can lead to fleshed out substack posts like this one, or even into subjects for videos
Streams are fun and spontaneous, any number of wacky clippable moments can occur
All my streams can be edited down or exported directly to YouTube
YouTube is also there for random little videos I feel like making
All of these things can lead into content for future books
Twitter and Twitch = spontaneous and spur of the moment
Substack and YouTube = more thought out
So that’s the gist of it and where I hope to see myself. K gotta go bye.