Do you ever google yourself?
I google myself regularly. In a former life, I was the social services reporter at a mid-size daily newspaper and as such attended one of those Internet safety forums sponsored by a local domestic violence shelter. As a survivor of domestic violence and the recipient of a recent (at that time) phone call from the perpetrator (two years after the final break up and from 500 miles away), I thought I should pay particular attention to the Internet stalking part. That’s where I learned that I should google myself often so I am always aware what other people can find out about me.
Some things I can’t change – I was a newspaper reporter and those articles are out there forever. Now, I work for a nonprofit’s publication, and those articles are out there too. I’m not too hard to find. My maiden name is… unique. Of the 300+ entries that come up in google, I am probably 295 of them.
But four years ago, someone with my first name must have married into my dad’s family. So now there are two of us. She has worked as the head of the chamber of commerce in the county adjacent to the one in which my parents grew up, so we must be related somehow. She’s now the director of development at the hospital where my dad was born. That’s crazy.
Of course, I have a different last name now, but I still use my maiden name professionally. I didn’t even take my husband’s last name at first, and it was hard for me when I did. Some women think I’m crazy for that.
This is all to say that if you don’t already, I think you should google yourself today. You never know…