It has become a cliche to say that self-centered people spend their time googling themselves. There are a few reasons this doesn’t make sense.
Many people who use the internet are not self-promoting, they are not trying to craft an image for themselves or drive traffic to their content. Indeed many internet users have no content. If you are in that category then googling yourself should yield no results. Another option is that you are so popular in the wider world that people create content about you – you’re a celebrity – and your narcissistic behavior is most likely justified.
The third option is that you are like me and you are building a public image and a skill set based around the inner workings of search engines and other internet tools. In that case, googling yourself is a purely intellectual endeavor. You could even call it professional development.
Well I partook in some professional development last night and I was a little disturbed at what I found. The first results google turns up are my linkedin profile, posts from this blog, my twitter feed, my youtube channel, posts from futureofnuclear.com (another blog I write), and other things I’ve created that have my name stamped on them. But interspersed with these links are links like this one and many more like it. Next I went over to the images section and when I google my name I get this:My apologies friends, dad, and Patrick Watson for dragging you into my social media vortex! I seem to have so over-saturated the internet with content that one persona alone cannot contain it.
I don’t know what to make of all this. Have I over-marketed myself? If an employer were to google me would they see how aptly I have manipulated the google crawlers, or would they see only a picture of me with a foo-manchu? It’s difficult to say. I’ll have to ponder it further, and maybe rethink my personal marketing strategy. At least I can breathe knowing that, if you leave out my middle name, you just get pictures of a certain elderly gay wizard whose name I don’t share. Luckily people misspell his name a lot more than I write mine.