Every year, I grow more paranoid about how visible I am on the internet. This is, I assume, partially due to my increasing visibility on the internet. If you were extremely mathematically minded, you could even make an equation about it, something to do with direct ratio increases when x = internet visibility and y = paranoia level.
Today I went googling myself and found some pretty spooky things. For one thing, there's a website called Zoominfo.com which apparently has profiles on everyone. At least, anyone whose name has ever been published on a website in some fashion. My profile says "Molly Backes, Middle School Teacher." I was like, how did they know?
THEN, there's this site called Intelius.com where you can pay $50 and get every court record, police document, anything, that ever mentions your name.
I realize that I may perhaps sound like an old person in my concern -- a few weeks ago the George Drake Players were riffing about that, about grownup internet paranoia (eg. 50ish Mom: YOU MEAN MY NAME AND PHONE NUMBER ARE ON THE INTERNETS??? 20ish Kid: Yeah, Mom, but the same information is IN THE PHONE BOOK), but I must say that there is a big difference between phone book information and ability to buy one's court records for fifty bucks.
This is a concern for me right now because I'm job hunting, and I know full well that modern employers are fairly likely to google me. Some of the information that comes up about me is pretty innocuous, some of it even flattering -- there's a newspaper article about me speaking at a City Hall meeting, which makes me sound relatively articulate and intelligent, and a Weekly Reader article about my class that makes me sound like a real live teacher. But there's other stuff, too: an effing Friendster profile they won't delete even though I deleted my profile, an old blog about Ali in Africa where the google teaser says "Molly Backes Why I'll Support Gay Marriage" which of course is nothing like it sounds, the actual context was something like "My favorite things to read right now: something something 'Weathering,' Molly Backes; 'Why I'll Support Gay Marriage,' David Armbuster, etc," and even though of course I support gay marriage I really don't want that particular phrase to come up second thing when a potential employer googles me.
SIGH. Stupid visible internet modern job hunting concerns.
At least there aren't any drunken pictures of me.
Not that I've found....