Googling myself was a pleasantly weird experience. That phrase might be contradictory, but it perfectly encapsulates my feelings. It was pleasant because it gave me the opportunity to walk down memory lane. Sure, a few of my social media accounts came up (including my Merit Page— good work CSC) but most of the information I sifted through came from newspaper articles that cataloged many of the highlights of my high school career. While gratifying, it was also weird because despite newspapers being of the public domain, it seems as though some of these personal accomplishments should not be floating around in technological space where anyone can read them. I’m not going to complain, however. Everything I found was positive and the experience overall was a good one, tinged with a happy (if somewhat invasive) nostalgia.
When I tried Googling just my name I discovered I would have to get a little more specific, considering I was not the doctor nor the Huffington Post writer whose results kept popping up. All I needed to do was add my state and bam, there I was. The first tab I explored was, naturally, “all”. Within this first tab came up a number of accounts, including: Hudl, Merit Pages, and Pinterest (woot!) Surprisingly, I could not find my Twitter or Facebook or WordPress accounts. Even when I dug in four or five pages, Google did not have them in their search engine. What did come up in large quantities were, as aforementioned, newspaper articles.
Most of the newspaper articles could be found underneath the “all” tab, but when I clicked on the “news” tab even more popped up. These were a treat to read through. Various titles that caught my eye included, “[Hometown] graduation: Stull, Hanks, and Keller named co-valedictorians” and “Lifeguards practice safety” and “Women in Leadership group presents $40000 in college scholarships”. Each of these articles brought me back to such good times in my life. I loved each and every one, but if I had to pick a favorite it would be “[Hometown mascot] Wins Come From Behind Thriller”. This particular piece had been written during sub-district varsity basketball my sophomore year when we defeated one of our rivals 54-52 in the last few seconds of the game. Here is an excerpt, “With 4:20 left, Hanks powered through three defenders, hitting the short lob and drawing a foul. She completed a three-point play on the bonus—and clawed the [hometown mascot] to within a jump shot of a tie.” Boy, that gives me goosebumps. According to the page I finished the game with 11 points. After two years of no sports, I am so thankful to have been transported back to special moments like this game.
Reading through these articles was wonderful, but eventually I made myself move on to see what there was to explore under the “images” tab on Google. This area did not have as much of me as the other pages, but what was there definitely made me smile. There were plenty of basketball pictures (some of which I have included in this piece), lifeguarding pictures, and school club pictures. Naturally, the page was mostly dominated with pictures of Tom Hanks. I have no problem with this; I wouldn’t want to share a last name with anyone else!
In a few years when I start applying to schools for teaching positions, I can say with complete honesty I would have no problem with my future employers Googling me. I have lived a very productive nineteen years on this Earth, and my digital footprint reflects that. I partake in nothing that would result in internet searches I would want to hide, and that I can attribute to my faith in God. By taking the time to Google myself I have learned not only that I am ready to hit the working world, but that I shouldn’t be so hard on myself. Sometimes I feel as though I am not doing enough, but this reminded me that I have done a lot. When I’m weary I can just look back and remember hey, I balled hard. 😀