I have to admit that I have never “googled” myself before… So doing so tonight made me a little nervous. When I googled just my name two of my images showed up amongst a bunch of random strangers. My current Twitter profile picture popped up and an old Facebook profile picture. When I clicked on my twitter profile picture it immediately took me to my page and when I clicked on my Facebook picture I was pleased to know I currently have my settings set so that random strangers don’t seem to have immediate access to my Facebook page.
Something that I found a little creepy was a site called White pages. It immediately listed my current address and phone number. (Super easy for anyone to just click on the google map and get instant directions to my front door). The White pages also showed my husband’s name and the names of several of my close relatives. For a fee I could receive detailed information about my public records or social profiles. As I was exploring a message popped up letting me know that if I chose to continue on with a detailed search, “Charity Wyatt, would not be notified that I was inquiring more personal information”.
I was also surprised to find that my business is advertised on a community page. I did not know that this site existed and it was interesting to see a add for my preschool listed with my contact information. I am curious to explore who posted the add.
I then decided to google my name and town. When I did this two obituary pages came up where my name was mentioned. My fathers and my nephews. You could actually read the personal note I typed my sister in law when she lost her son. It was really weird to read the message and know that it was available for anyone. When I typed it I never considered that it might be available to others online. I tried to revisit the page to see if I could delete the message but I was denied access, only my sister in law can close the account through the funeral home. (My nephew passed away 8 years ago). I plan on letting contacting her today to let her know that all the messages she received are available still to the public to read. Very emotional to revisit these two pages.
I feel that going back to college has pushed me out of my comfort circle of being associated with Facebook only. My online profile as been expanded because of the requirements of the courses I am taking. When I googled my email address I found several Prezi’s that I created, a website for a past class, and a Rubi star that I had created. I actually logged back into Prezi and Rubi star and deleted all my presentations over the past year. I was naive to realize that they were still available to the public. (Even though I agreed to share them publicly). I need to remember that if I create something for a class I am taking I need to go back in and delete the material after it has been graded.
I also visited a site called peekyou.com. This site ranks you on your social status, I was ranked a one. (Lowest score possible) So I assume that is good news to hear. My online identity shows that I don’t spend much time on the internet, which is accurate. Other than logging in to participate in classes this summer and Facebook from time to time I really have no interest to be online. I find comfort in being very private. I very rarely post to Facebook nor do I comment on other’s status. I feel like I am boring to google. My Twitter account is my most active right now because of this course. After this semester I plan on still following people through twitter but I will probably revert to never posting anything. I just don’t enjoy that part of it.
One thing that I was very surprised that didn’t show up was my word press account. I honestly though that it would be the one sure thing that people could currently access. Especially since I am currently blogging using my name.
Overall I am proud to be boring online. I find fulfillment in interactive person to person relationships and I love being a participant in life not glued to my electronic devices or building relationships through them. Right now life seems to just go by so fast and I personally find appreciation in being a little “old school” in my approach to life.