A Perfect Version of Ourselves

To measure my own online visibility, I decided that a good way to start would be by Googling myself. However I found the results to be slightly disappointing, due to the fact that it turns out I share a name with an actress and two influential psychologists. Therefore I found that the results leading to my own profiles were quite minimal, aside from a link to my Twitter account through my profile picture, which can be found under my Google Images results. My lack of traceable internet presence should probably come as more of relief than a disappointment, as I have friends who have found their addresses, and even photos of their past and present homes upon Googling themselves, a notion that I would find very unsettling.

However for those who have access to my social media accounts, through friendship on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram (all of which are private) or any other social media site, nearly all of my information is open. All my photos, everywhere I’ve traveled recently, which city I live in, what music I like, where I got to school, my work history–all of this information is out in the open. Not only for my friends and family, but for people I’ve barely or never even talked, as I’m the kind of person who will add as a friend someone who just happens to be a familiar face on campus. But I’m okay with people I hardly know knowing all this, because all of this information is under my control. Our online selves are the person we want other people to see. We create a profile online which is a more perfect version of ourselves which we can broadcast to others, to network and boast of resumes on linked in, or to make our lives seem fun and exciting on Facebook. Googling myself might have been a little anti-climactic, but I’m glad that as far as I can tell, my online visibility is under my control.

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3 Comments

  1. I completely agree that our Internet selves are better versions of ourselves. Everyone posts photos online to show their lives their best memories and to almost ‘show-off’ what they did. But there are also sights like Tumblr where people ‘expose’ their true lives. It is a place where they are able to confide in their followers about the worst parts of their lives as well as the good. Perhaps sharing things like “I have an eating disorder” or “I’m severely depressed” is a little strange on websites like Facebook, but I think it’s nice that there is still places online where people feel comfortable enough to post this sort of personal information.

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  2. I used to google myself quite often too, not because I’m a narcissist but because I like to be in control of what information is available to others who for some reason or another may find themselves googling me. I always prided myself on the fact that so few details, if any at all, besides writing related links, popped up on google when I typed in my name. It’s strange to think about how this has become a chore for people our age – having to clean up our digital footprints and manage the online versions of ourselves. And what’s especially strange to me though, if not down right scary, is that if we do find something in a google search that we don’t like we can’t just sweep it away.

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  3. I have tried googling myself for this exercise and before too, however I have not found anything even my profile pictures on Facebook. I think this is great because it shows that I control my social media even though sometimes I do post things that probably I shouldn’t have. Not so long ago I found out that in some industries, like fashion, they also check your activities on social networks such as Instagram. Social networks such as Instagram can really tell a lot about person even if she or he is faking.

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