Aye, that is the question*
*(Maybe not THE question, but A question)
Alas, we use “google” as a verb now for “internet search.” There are other options, though I still use Google because it reigns supreme.
I have found that occasional googling (or Duck Duck Go-ing, Swiss Cow-ing, Gibiru-ing Bing-ing and more) can bring up some surprises about self. Hopefully they are nice surprises, but the question is whether it should be part of anyone’s digital hygiene practices.
I think at this day and age where so much of life’s connectivity is digital, it is healthy to look oneself up now and then. I know writers look up their published books. I recall some on a chat board saying they are stalking their own titles. Stalking suggests obsessional behavior. But doing a bi-annual search just in case something very wrong (ouch) or something very right (yay) is floating out there— is rather sensible.
But it is an awkward feeling, I confess. If you are creeped out by looking yourself up, just don’t. So far, I have found at least four nice surprises, (a review I was unaware of that is now quoted and linked to my website, a blogger’s review of one of my published articles, and more) and one not so happy thing, (a site purported to give personal info on anyone and everyone decided to confuse my age with my much-older DH.) But on the whole, I found what I expected to find. I’m not famous, so that is about what I anticipated.
Two friends, who insisted there couldn’t be anything about them on the Interwebs, were proven wrong. There is something somewhere. But if you don’t mind, don’t care— that’s fair. Don’t look. You don’t have to.
Like most things in life, I straddle the middle ground: no staking/haunting, not avoiding. Once or twice a year does it for me.
If you ever found real surprises while googling self, I’d love to hear about it. At the very least, it would make a good story.