Blast from the Past

Take a minute and think about everything that you have ever posted on a social media account; are you cringing yet? For many people, thinking back about information about themselves on the internet is a torturous task. For others, they know that their online identity is “clean” and aren’t worried. Or, in my case, Googling myself brought back a wide array of information back that I forgot all about or didn’t even know was online!

Before I Googled myself for this assignment, I took a few minutes to make a mental list about what I thought might be on the internet.  My Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram account, and maybe a few pictures. Beyond that, I wasn’t expecting to find much else. After extensive searching, I was a little shocked by the information that I found. Don’t get me wrong, the information wasn’t necessarily bad, I just didn’t expect to find it all!

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Photo CC: SEO 

The first thing I googled was simply my name “Courtney Munger.” The first thing that popped up were two pictures of me. Both pictures were from previous Facebook profile pictures. Okay, nothing surprising there. I went to the “images” section of Google and found these to be the only two pictures of me that came up. Along with the pictures, I also found the social media accounts that I had expected to see. When I clicked on each of these sites, you could see my name, picture, and where I was from. Beyond that, any information I have is private for people who aren’t friends with me on these accounts. Although I know that there are ways around this, it felt nice to know that even though there isn’t any bad information on my accounts, there is some privacy.

I flipped through 5 pages worth of Google suggested websites and actually found a lot more information about myself! Although the majority of the sites were about other people with the same name, or similar names, there was more about me than I thought there would be. Among this information about me was my academic honors from high school, Eastern Wyoming College, and Chadron. In addition, I also found lots of information from my high school soccer days. There were articles about games I had played in, clips from when I played (you had to login to the site to actually view the videos), and my All-Conference Award. The last piece of unexpected information from this search was my job at Chadron Middle School After School Program!

Images I found Googling myself

After I searched just my name, I then searched my name followed by my hometown and state. I found the same information from the other search, and a few others. This search also resulted in my blog, information about scholarships I won after graduating high school, information about my Big Event Worksite, and my grandfather’s obituary. The last surprising article that this search brought was an article about me winning the Spelling Bee as a 7th grader. This was shocking to me because this was from 8 years ago! I would say that half the sites that I found when searching my name the second time was information that I didn’t even know was on the internet! It’s kind of scary how people can post stuff about you online without you knowing! Thankfully, the information and articles were all positive!

Overall, googling myself was super informative! It definitely shows the importance of being careful what you put online because that information truly does stay out there! I’m very glad that all the information I found online was stuff I would be okay with a future employer, my students, etc. seeing.

 

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Photo CC: Simon Ashton
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