Searching for myself on Google, thankfully, doesn’t turn up anything unsavory. My twitter is at the top of the list, with a few pictures that I’ve tweeted or retweeted, there’s some stuff from Wall still hanging around, a few articles I wrote for the Record, and some of my blog posts.
My Facebook doesn’t really turn up, but I don’t think it would take a genius to find my profile. Thankfully, I believe most of my stuff is hidden to friends only, though I’ve made sure to keep my Facebook pretty clear of anything offensive. So, it’s not there, but if it was I don’t think I would need to worry!
My Pinterest page also turns up, and I think that’s something I may have to delete or put to private, just because it can be a little personal and the site is meant to be a fun place. I also don’t really use it much anymore.
Overall, most of what turns up for me is good! “Ermish” is a surprisingly unique surname, so I’ve been pretty careful to keep my full name off of my social media history if I know I am using the platform for fun. I don’t post anything awful or hateful, of course, but I tend to have a ‘potty mouth’ when I am excited or just having fun with something. I don’t think future employers would be too thrilled to see that sort of thing!
And, naturally, everyone is dumb when they’re in their teen and pre-teen years, so most of what I posted during those years, even the stupid stuff, isn’t easily accessible or discoverable under my name. It’s only really been my college years that I’ve used my full name on anything, and it’s typically been for classes, or because I wasn’t worried about the site I was using.
So, thankfully, the late 90’s and early 2000’s paranoia of ‘never use your full name’ has paid off! I didn’t get abducted, and now my internet history is pretty clean as a result. Perhaps an unintended side-effect, but I think it would still be a great thing to preach to younger kids today. Information is already easily found and accessible, but I can imagine that it will become even more easily found in the future. There will also, no doubt, be even more social media sites for people to use and collect data on as well, so it wouldn’t hurt to be careful.
I take care to google myself regularly, especially before applying for a job, and I would certainly recommend that others do as well. If something pops up that you can delete or explain, that you wouldn’t want an employer to see, then at least you can catch it first! And for the future, I think I will continue to make sure to watch where I choose to post my full name.