My boss sent me an email today asking me to keep my IM chat open while I'm at work. My boss supervises me from another city, so I understand why the request was made. This way, my boss can quickly communicate with me without having to call or send an email.
The problem is that the IM system is my private email, and I don't want my contacts to know that I'm online. They will waste time sending me messages when I don't have time/am uninterested in responding. Also, there are certain people in my contact list that I don't ever want to talk to again, and I don't want them to know that I'm online. For these reasons, I haven't used my IM chatbox in years.
How do I explain to my boss that I don't want to use my private IM system? I considered changing my IM name, but my boss already knows what my current IM name is, and I feel like it would be awkward to explain that I have a past history with stalkers and that I'm panicked about using IM now.