Googling yourself for vanity’s sake, aka…
- vanity searching
- vanity surfing
…or any other term, is one of the most sure fire ways to up your self-consciousness and anxiety levels. At least this is the case for my personality type. I mean, I want to know what people might find when they search my name, but I don’t always like what I find when I search it. Especially with my name, unsurprisingly there are A LOT of Austin Alexander’s. So, unless I am super specific about what I search, I’m not even on the radar. Which tacks on egobruising to the pre-existing anxiety that may be caused by finding something I’m not particularly proud of.
Side Note: There’s actually a jewelry manufacturer that comes up one search result ahead of my IMDB…which does need some cleaning up. However, I guess that’s better than what this lady went through.
There was that one time that Google launched their own platform to try and pacify this issue by making Google+ members feel like they would now have control over their search results. But, we all know how that turned out for them. (Though they apparently still haven’t given up on this dream.)
For me, it’s just a better decision to minimize my time spent on Google searching for myself.
Googling Yourself For Work, Romance, Et Al
This I totally get. You don’t want a prospective client or employer to Google you and find that link to your old LiveJournal, MySpace, or any other online account that you used in days long past. Unless, you’re LiveJournal, or otherwise, was just chock-full of amazingness, which I’m sure it was to your 12 or 13 year old self. To someone that is going to pay you money for doing a thing, not so much. If it’s important to you and your livelihood, you should definitely try to clean that up.
For romance, I get it too. People are going to search your name when you get their number. They are going to look over your social media accounts. They are most likely going to do whatever information gathering they can on you before you meet, so they know they will be safe. There may be other information they are trying to find, but the root cause is protection. There are a lot of weird people out there, and you may know that you are a super cool regular person but how would the rest of us know that?