Whether it’s the animated series, the live action movie, or the one about blue people, someone on the internet will hate you for the things you love. This is one thing that can make a person consider intentionally building an online persona – you want to disassociate your image from things that would cause you to be rejected from certain groups of people.
But developing your online persona begins far, far sooner than that. From the moment you choose your first internet handle, your persona has begun to grow. And when you realize three years later, after you’ve drifted away from the sites and communities you used to frequent, that “xoxok1ttensm1les1234” isn’t that great a username and you don’t want people to know you used to write fanfiction… you can change it. Fluid online identities allow a person to isolate and discard a whole section of their life – a record of their interests, beliefs, acquaintances – and start anew.
This is, of course, relevant only to the sites that allow you to construct your identity from scratch. Online personas like Facebook that hold your real information can be much more complex – for both good and bad.