Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Go Google Yourself!

I use Google on a daily basis for numerous reasons but mostly as a means to find photos for this blog, tracking mentions of various companies, and finding news about different subjects. It is a great tool that makes the daily tasks a lot easier than it used to be. I’m sure I am not the only one who remembers using a card catalogue and flipping through pages and pages of useless information. Well, maybe not completely useless as it has done wonders for my random knowledge over the years. In fact, much of my recent genealogy work has more closely resembled this method rather than the modern instantaneous gratification that we have all become accustom to.

Every once in a while I take advantage of this modern convenience and see what happens to be floating around out there that is tied to my name. It is quite the interesting exercise and, to a certain extent, a little disconcerting. Have you ever done a Google search of your own name?

It’s a given that all your social media accounts play a prominent role in the search results but there is also, at least for me, a lot of other information that surfaces. From mentions in articles, old corporate blog posts, press releases, reading announcements to, if it so applies, any piece of information that is part of the public record including your address, phone number, and pictures of your friends and family. If you are a writer, you can also find some class assignments based on your work (this was both surprising and entertaining).

Such is the time in which we live. Whether you like it or not, your name is out there for everyone to see. While I am a pretty open and outgoing person, some others don’t have the same perspective. This is why I am constantly conscious of what gets posted, what pictures are taken, and the people and organizations with which I associate. Everything is out there for anyone to find and you don’t want that random picture to surface that was taken immediately prior to you blacking out.

It will be interesting how subsequent generations react to such openness and whether or not the barriers remain between personal actions and professional consequences when the moments of youth live on in perpetuity on the internet. For me, I remain cognizant of what is posted and what is said. I do my best to minimize the censoring of my opinions and perspectives in an effort to remain completely transparent and honest with those who may come across these words and I enjoy the fact that I am able to record my own life and maintain an ongoing record for future generations. Good or bad, this is who I am and this is one of the main things that will show up in a Google search.