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How do I be professional?

My ongoing struggle navigating through different online spheres

I have been an internet user for about 11 years. In the past, I’ve mainly used it in fandom spaces like Tumblr (RIP) to talk about shows, movies, characters, and actresses I like. While that’s still largely true, I find myself at odds on how to proceed as an adult. Currently my preferred platform is Twitter which can be a living hell-more on that later- and I’ve outgrown fandoms. That isn’t to say that I hate or even dislike fandoms, but I have a very long and colorful history of drama in many of them that in some cases still follows me. Needless to say, I have always had a problem being too impulsive and not thinking before I speak. Now I try, and sometimes fail, to mind my own business. Which brings me to my next point.

What IS my “business” anymore? Where do I fit in? My Twitter feed is currently 70% fandom related, 30% other. That 70% is all over the place. Since I have had so many hyperfixations, I have mutuals from all walks of life. I have followers from my days 5 years ago as a Gwen Stefani stan, to last summer where I tweeted incessantly about Stranger Things season 3, Cheers (which I still haven’t finished, still mad about Diane), Star Wars Twitter, Bollywood Twitter, Film Twitter, The Sopranos Twitter (again a show I still have to finish), music/Spice Girls Twitter, royal Twitter, and more. As I pick up interests, the more fandoms are on my timeline.

That other 30% of who I’m following consists of writers, “professionals”, people who I have perhaps followed for one thing but exist almost outside of fandom spaces. It’s that “other” that interests me. The way they type is typically grammatically correct, they avoid tweeting sexual stuff and saying whatever comes to their mind. I admire it and am intimidated by it. Since I have so many brands, so many things people know me by that I am essentially brand-less, how do I make MYSELF a brand? Or just… exist without stan Twitter vernacular, which is by now so ingrained in how I communicate it seems impossible to get rid of. Is something like this even possible? It would require me to think about what I tweet very carefully, and I’m not sure I can regulate myself like that.

This blog is a good start. But then I run into another problem. This is basically only for my Twitter followers, and it is the only platform I share my posts on. I have invested so much time to that goddamned website that the majority of my thoughts, feelings, and content is all there. I almost never use Facebook or Instagram, and my personal/”local” Twitter got suspended. I have considered trying to make a new account but Twitter makes it almost impossible without a valid phone number.

Now, you might say, “Julia, shouldn’t you share your feelings with your friends and family? Wouldn’t that give you a better and stronger sense of identity offline as well as on?”

you’d be right, and it’s something I have to go back to therapy for. I think I feel safer this way, talking to strangers or distant friends. For whatever reason I have always been somewhat ashamed of some of my more niche interests. Most of my IRL friends are aware of my Anglophile-lite tendencies: it’s well known by everyone that Downton Abbey is my favorite show, I post about The Crown on Facebook a lot, etc. People know how much I love Westworld too. But stuff like Bollywood? My newest obsession, Maria Callas? Nope. Only my parents know about that, and only the bare minimum. Rather than talk nonstop about them to people who don’t care, instead I type nonstop to people that don’t care.

So, this blog is an attempt at professionalism, or curating my thoughts in a more formal manner. I may submit my more analytical or review posts to websites and see if I can get hired. But it will still primarily be seen by fandom friends, so what’s the point? I don’t know anymore. I don’t know how to make my Twitter more normal, either. I have considered starting a new blog for my IRL friends and family who have encouraged me to write, but I wouldn’ know what to even say or what I’d feel comfortable sharing. I know for damn sure that I don’t want anyone in my life seeing this one, or my Twitter. Maybe one day I’ll be brave, but today is not that day. I guess even writing this at all is a step up from before.

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