Ashley Alexandra Dupré and Joe the Plumber
So, you’re going about your daily life, whatever that may involve. Maybe it’s newsworthy, if people only knew about it, like was with call girl Ashley Alexandra Dupré. Maybe it isn’t, like with Samuel Joseph Wurzelbacher. But you’ve been able to bask in relative anonymity, even if you were trying to make yourself well-known.
Then a black swan or large-impact, hard-to-predict, and rare event beyond the realm of normal expectations hits you.
You’re suddenly big news, like Ashley not just being another call girl, but one who serviced former New York Governor Eliot Spitzer. Or Sammy Wurz-his-name becoming Joe the Plumber. Or maybe you were an innocent victim of a drive by shooting, or somebody pulled out of a natural disaster. The news media gets a hold of your name and puts it out in brief of a developing story, while they scramble for ways to find out more about you. People want to know more and go to the Internet to look up a story about you.
What are they going to find out about you on the Internet? I see Ashley’s MySpace music profile the media grabbed so quickly has over 12.4 million views now and over 5.3 million plays of her now removed songs. That’s one way to get fame for your song, I suppose.
What is that going to say about you?
What might they find about you that’s not really you but may be plausible enough people might think it were you or your doing?
Have you Googled yourself recently to find out? Did you try by name or name and/or something strongly associated with you like your employer or city in which you live to parse out all the other Joe or Jane MacDonalds out there?
What did you find?
What did you think of it?
How much do you and don’t you like it?
Have you ever thought about any of this stuff?
I have, and I Google myself once every few months or so just to make sure. I don’t like all the results I see, nor the impression some leave. I can’t do anything about some like a store that has my name as its domain. Considering I have a rare name in Western culture, it might convince some people I have a side business. My various blogging in the past probably give the impression I’m online WAY too much when I actually tend to do it during my TV and dining times, living alone without family. Think of how much time that is in your life and see what I mean. I’m sure I haven’t said all the most proper things online, either, but I’m convinced I’ve demonstrated more than enough of my good side to counter the bad.
Still, the media would pull out all the sketchy stuff, and the point is I don’t get to explain it like I just did here!
But what about you? How much can you recall of your online footprint and what are you answers to those questions above?
Do you know about things you might want to know like how people can still easily track you down despite all the cryptic usernames and such you use to visit various sites with?
Maybe you won’t have much, pending what generation you are in most likely. But if you do, maybe the more important question is can you do anything about it to help it?
This might not be a bad exercise for you to go through if you’ve never thought about it. And I think you might be surprised what might be out there since it’s not necessarily just your doing that might influence this. How many friends do you have with things like Facebook profiles or blogs and such that might have mentioned you, for example?
Have you electronically sent anything potentially negative about yourself to anyone you can recall, like photos of bad gestures or explicit in nature in some way?
Any negative newspaper or other media stories you’ve been in of late?
This same sort of thing is what cyber-bullying is sometimes based on, information others have of you that is your best interest not to have spread around. And online, things spread far faster to more people in further reaches than ever before.
How ready are you for your 15 minutes of fame and might it be infamy just on your online past?
Just some things to think about.
Flesch-Kincaid Grade Reading Level: 6.8