Friday, July 20, 2012

Desperately seeking Self-Googlers Anonymous

Don’t Google yourself – it’s embarrassing. Of course, I’m saying this as a long-time self-Googler, a shameful secret that I’d like all of you to forget the moment you finish reading this post. Even if you do pop your name into Google now and then, you aren’t supposed to actually admit it to anyone – the hobby suggests some awful combination of desperation and narcissism that normally make people back away from you at parties. Do you really care what complete strangers think about you? (I don’t think I care, exactly, but for some reason I have to KNOW.) Do you even know how the Google rankings work? (I think I do, sort of, in that vague yet unspecified way that leaves me content but completely unwilling to explain it out loud in case I end up sounding stupid.)

Of course, as a writer with several articles posted online I have a variety of legitimate reasons for my name to come up in a search (also, an oddly spelled name is extremely useful for weeding out potential Google-clones). But I’ve also run into a desperately unfortunate picture from college, when I was quoted for a newspaper article and ended up with a photographer who apparently found the worst conceivable angle to shoot me from. I had been successfully repressing any and all memory of this picture, at least until Google dug it out of some dark corner of the Internet and helpfully reminded me of its existence just recently.

I suppose it could be worse – anyone on Facebook who might have embarrassing photos of me seems to take my just-short-of-death threats quite seriously – but every time I see the picture I swear I’m never going to put my name into Google again. This vow usually lasts about a week, maybe longer if I’m feeling particularly self-restrained for some reason.

Anyone know if there’s a Self-Googlers Anonymous out there? 

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