Google Me?

google

I Googled myself this week.  Have you ever done it?  If you haven’t, I would highly recommend it.  It’s really important to know what people can find out about you in such an easy way in terms of reputation management.  I didn’t think I’d be surprised by what I found, but I was, somewhat.

I must admit, I don’t cast a wide net with my digital footprint.  I don’t intentionally put my full name out there.  It’s for that reason that I’m not going to post any screen shots or specifics about what I found in connection with my name.  Although I write a blog and have social media accounts, I really like my privacy.  As a person who values privacy so much, Googling yourself is an even more important exercise.

On Twitter, I don’t use my name, nor do I on Instagram.  I also don’t use my last name on Facebook.  However, obviously, I do use my full name at work.

Google yourself

Most of the things I found had to do with where I work.  I found my name listed under a few forms on my company’s website.  This was not a surprise.

I also found my name listed as a soccer coach from when I was a volunteer coach over a year ago, which was a surprise to find.  I was also surprised to find my name listed as a small group leader from a church I used to attend.  I didn’t realize any of that information would be available so publically.

Im being Googled

My LinkedIn account did come up, as did my Tyba, which I recently created after starting grad school.  I saw a “shout out” someone had given me on Facebook for a share where they used my full name.

I checked out the images, and only three of all of those possible were actually me, and they pertained to my work and my LinkedIn account.

I Googled two of  my email addresses, and some newletters for my father’s church came up, which I didn’t understand.  I checked out all of the links and that helped me remember that I used to run a community service project out of his church, and my email address was listed several times in their newsletter as a result.

I wish googling myslef

Most of what I got seemed to be different search sites to help someone delve deeper.  Too bad, I’m just not that interesting.

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8 thoughts on “Google Me?

  1. I think it’s smart that you don’t use your full name on all of the social media sites. Looking back at what I found out about myself from my Google search, I maybe should have tried to make my profiles a little more hidden! I have pretty strict privacy settings on most of my social media sites, so the most information that anyone could really get was a profile pic.
    Like you, when I googled my maiden name, I had a lot of work related articles and blog posts that appeared. I’m established a pretty big following on my company’s blog as Whitney Agan, so I don’t want to really change my name on there any time soon.
    This was a fun exercise!

    • I thought it was fun, too, Whitney! Yes, I like having as much privacy as possible online. However, I have several people I’m very close to who live almost every aspect of their lives very publicly online. As a result, I’ve asked them to not tag me or, occasionally, even not post photos of me at all or pull them.

      If I wanted to build up myself as a brand, I think it would be important to have my full name connected to my blog, and some social sites, too. I know it’s coming at some point, and I hope I’m ready for the lack of privacy I’ll have online when I finally make that plunge. Thanks for commenting!

    • I’ve noticed that, too, as I’ve read other’s blogs. I don’t know if that speaks well or ill of LinkedIn. Unlike some other social media sites, I think people on LinkedIn are looking to be found, though. It’s kind of like Tyba that way. Thanks for commenting, Juan!

  2. I am just like you when it comes to privacy issues. There is a lot that still needs to be regulated in my opinion, especially with some social media sites, like Facebook, Snapchat and Instagram. I try not to use my real name for any local media accounts.

    • It’s a shame, really, that so many of us feel this way. You’d think that there’d be enough of an outcry to sway social media sites to provide us with more privacy. But, really, anything we post online we have to assume anyone can see. Perhaps it’s a good thing that we are not given more of a semblance of privacy when it doesn’t really exist. Thanks for commenting!

  3. Hey AnnMarie,
    I enjoyed reading your post this week because I think we are different views on privacy. I make an effort to appear in search results while you make an effort not to appear there. For the profiles we own (like social media) it’s nice that we have control. It’s whenever others get involved that things get dicey. For better or worse, we cannot control all of our search results like your church or soccer team who mentioned you. I’m sure you could go to them and ask them to remove the content, but it could take months to be removed from Google. As with all privacy online, part of the risk is in what others share and not what we share.
    Great post!

    • Thanks, Sean! That’s such an important point you’ve made — that no matter how private we try to be, we can’t control what others share online about us. It just shows how important it is for your “online persona” to match who you are in “real” life! Thanks for commenting!

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