I googled myself again today. My digital footprint actually looks quite different than it did before I started taking EC & I 831. Before this, it never actually occurred to me that I could have some control over my digital identity.
That’s a picture of me when I was 8.5 months pregnant to the left. Sadly, the picture in the bikini is most definitely not me, but I am glad that there seem to be other better looking versions of myself!
In the past when I googled myself, I would find my Facebook & LinkedIn profiles depending on my privacy settings, but what I would always find is the ratemyteachers.com site. Of course, I made the mistake of reading the reviews and though there were many positive reviews there were also some very nasty ones. I was a young high school math teacher and I focused much more on the negative reviews- almost to the point of obsession and self-doubt. I certainly made mistakes when I was first starting out, but seeing a few harsh reviews was not helpful. It occurs to me that for the most part only students who either love you or hate you would take the time to review you, but I take criticism quite badly. Thankfully, now that I have been teaching longer I do actually receive occasional messages of thanks through Facebook or virtually. I am actually happy that there are no ratings of me on ratemyteacher in my current position and that the nasty ones are under my maiden name I think.
Apparently I am not alone googling myself. We read several articles for our EC & I 831 class this week. They were on the subject of digital identity. Reputation Management and Social Media by Mary Madden and Aaron Smith was the article that I enjoyed the most. It pointed out that: “57% of adult internet users now use search engines to find information about themselves online.” Another article was about landing your Dream Job Using Google AdWords and it describes how Alec Brownstein paid to use the names of creative directors so his name would come up in searches.
I actually googled “googling myself” and found out that a couple of years ago there was a trend of people googling themselves and putting the results on YouTube for the world to see.
I even found this little snippet from a show I didn’t watch, but it’s pretty funny:
The videos I found of people googling themselves were either of people I did not recognize (they might be famous, but they are way younger than me) and had a lot of inappropriate words so I will not post them here!
The same article that I referenced above: Reputation Management and Social Media, also mentioned people googling their friends and people from their past. In addition, according to the same article 18-29 year olds are much more careful with the content that they post on-line than those of us that are older.
Another interesting thing that came out of my “googling myself” google search is the following page about managing your online reputation:
Who knew? I had no idea that there was even an option to go through the steps that Google suggests. I knew you could un-tag yourself in photos, but that was about the extent of my knowledge.
In today’s world, it will be imperative that our students have a positive digital footprint because the hiring world is much different than back when I was trying to land a job. It is very easy to search on-line these days and it can have a very positive impact or a negative one.