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.