GOOGLE ME... or not!
About a year ago, I went to Google.com and typed a close relative's name into the search field. To my utter shock and admitted disappointment, I scrolled through a lengthy array of provocative photos, articles, links and videos that I thought painted a limited, bawdy picture of said nameless relative. What I found out later was that rather than the fear and vulnerability I felt on said relative's (SR's) behalf, SR is rather proud of the display and the notoriety gained from it.
As a person who loathes judgment and the implications of it, I hated that my visceral response to what I'd found was so negative. My tsk-tsk-tsk and shaking head over the idea that SR had carelessly let the world in on some of the most sacred and intimate spaces of life. Even further, my response went against every fiber of my being that tries not to perpetuate judgment, only to realize my own painful truth... that I REALLY hate to be judged.
I guess that's a sort of universal truth, hating to be held under the stage clip of some not-so-objective lens. That's pretty ironic coming from someone who, on a semi-regular basis, offers her own tidbits and perspectives that people openly form opinions about; occasional poems and other moments of naked wit and (dare I say) wisdom via cyber missive-to-self and anyone-who-will-read-them-blogs.
Finally, and probably most pointedly, my experience with SR made me wonder who, if anyone, has ever gone to Google to specifically search, or "google," me... other than ME, that is. These days, it would seem that the answer to that - otherwise hypothetical question - would be... perspective employers!
For several unnamable reasons, I am posting this. In part, as an experiment. But mostly, this post is in response to a number of graduating seniors I know (and mentor) as reiteration and proof that neither (A) the profiled photos of their bare, flexed abs, flanked by flailing, wagging tongues, nor (B) the statuses that have more four-letter-words than Lil Weezy’s last hit record, are the best ways to make a possible first impression on prospective jobs. (A “hoodie photo" of myself and my family may not be best either but I would hope the national concerns of late make it permissible and understandable… but I digress.)
Since my verbal counsel seems not to suffice, I offer Kit Eaton’s 2009 article, “If You're Applying for a Job, Censor Your Facebook Page,” from FastCompany.com (written long before any of my students could tell a tweet from a twit; before any of them even knew there was a Facebook). Some of the stats may be a bit confusing, but, give the article an entire read through… then, when we meet again, tell me what you think.
Until then, my beloved myspace-facebook-tweet-blogger darlings, keep your clothes on in your profile pictures, hope for world peace in your status updates, keep your public social networking private, and keep your job prospects… prospective.
Onward and upward...