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My Digital Identity

I must admit that I live in a naive world because I didn’t think that my digital identity would be very much.  I don’t consider myself someone who “puts themselves out there” nor did I think that I did much on-line.  Now I understand that my digital identity has increased ten-fold since I began this class, but I never imagined that if I Googled my own name so many things would come up. When I googled my name, the first thing that comes up is a write-up that I did for a friend. She was my Hypnobirthing instructor and she had asked my to do a write-up on the birth experience I had after using Hypnobirthing for the first time. I fully expected to find this when I searched my name because I had seen it in the past. However, some of the other things that came up surprised me a little.  In my free time I like to run and in the past few years I have participated in numerous running events. Now I knew that when the race was over that I could go on-line and find my official time. I never really thought about this much however and i guess I just figured that the only was you could see this information would be to log onto the race site and click to view the results. I was a little surprised to see that if I google my name, I can find my race time for the Flatlanders Road Race that I ran in October of 2010. I also didn’t realize that when I tweet something that that can also be found under a Google search.

Twitter_reviewed by vickel_n, on Flickr
Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 2.0 Generic License  by  vickel_n 

Now there are many things about my digital identity that I did know about. I have a Facebook account, although I am not very active. I occasionally post (although it is rare); I rarely put up pictures; I don’t often post on other peoples status updates. I find Facebook is a good way to keep up with what people are doing but I don’t believe that my life is that interesting that anyone would want to know what I am up to. I know there are pictures of me on Facebook but they are often posted by people that I know. I am not sure how I feel about this however. I don’t like that just anyone can put a picture of me on Facebook without my approval. My children have pictures on Facebook, but my husband does it many so that family members can see them.  When my children are referred to on Facebook, usually it is not but name but rather by the first letter of their name or some silly name that my husband has made up for them. Our unborn child has yet to make an appearance on-line (no, we didn’t put up any ultrasound pictures) but the day that it is born, I am certain a picture along with information will be up for all to see. Once again, we would hate to not let everyone know immediately what was going on!

Once again returning to the theme of my digital identity and not that of my children, I guess that I was shocked by what I could find out there that referenced my name. There were a few links that had my name and then a phone number following it. When I clicked on the links however it did not direct me towards a website where I could find this information. I am a little confused as to how information such as that is available when I know that I didn’t consent to it but I have no idea how to see the actual website where I can view this information. I have to say however that my digital identity seems in line with my “real life” identity. There doesn’t appear to be anything embarrassing or incriminating on-line and anything that comes up seems respectful. I try to live a respectful life and it is nice to see that if you searched for me on-line that this is also what you would find.

Was anyone else shocked by what they found out about themselves when they Googled their name? It is definitely interesting what one can find out about themselves by simply looking their name up on-line.


Comments on: "My Digital Identity" (5)

  1. I really like me – but 117000 links…I am a big deal – haha. Like you I was surprised at the quantity of things connected online. It really makes a person think about how open we really are.

    “It is definitely interesting what one can find out about themselves by simply looking their name up on-line.”

    Did you learn anything you didn’t know? 🙂

  2. I was also unaware that everything I posted on Twitter could be seen in a Google search. I was using my first and last name before, so I changed my Twitter user name to just my first name. Thanks for the info!

  3. I haven’t done a search yet but I will!

    I found it interesting that you are on facebook (and twitter) but that you don’t feel like you live a life important enough to share! I find you interesting…anyone willing to have four kids is interesting to me! And, I learn things from you all the time! How many times have I asked or called? Please post. Even Alec said that you never know what other people might find helpful!

    I find the online world fascinating. One of my students is not allowed to blog because his parents do not want his name or privacy issues online. However, when I googled him, his name already came up due to facebook and his family tree! Maybe a little ironic that they don’t want his name out there, but they already did it!

  4. I searched myself. I don’t even come up! I don’t know if I am happy about this or extremely sad? However, when I googled my twitter name, I was everywhere. I guess I am happy to be sharing but also glad that my students can’t find me on Facebook.

  5. I regularly search for myself just to see what has been said or posted. I had a surprising find one time when I searched photos as there were quite a few out there and not so flattering if I do say so myself. I think it is important to know what it is out there about yourself as you cannot control it. However, I do not google anybody else. We had an interesting conversation at work the other day about a faculty member googling her teenagers, there was a mixed reaction about her doing this. Some were in favor and others not. I believe it is important to know what is out.

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