Sunday, December 16, 2007

Close to half of adults check themselves, others on search engines


Almost half of all adults with Internet access look themselves up on at least one search engine (often Google -- resulting in the company name becoming a reflexive verb) , and most do not find derogatory or disturbing information that surprises them. Slightly more check out other people. An increasing number of adults are concerned about online "reputation" and say that their jobs demand it. More adults than teens, however, allow their blogs and profiles to remain public.

All of this came out in an AP story today by Anick Jesdanun, here. AOL's numbers for these on its survey were over 70%.

Sometimes debt collectors or lawyers use search engines for skip tracing purposes.

I just tried it again tonight with my own legal name ("John W. Boushka") and I noticed how visibly my "professional resume" (about computer programming) shows up from my "johnwboushka.com" domain, whereas all my political writings show up on "doaskdotell.com" and, of course, these blogs (also "billboushka.com"). Some will say, isn't this manipulative or unprofessional? In some jobs it would be, and I've covered that before. (I am "quasi" retired.) The problem is that it's important for individuals to fight for their own rights themselves rather than let special interests and paid lobbyists do that for them. Not everyone has that right or luxury. And I've covered that before, too.

Update: Dec. 19

View the related story on Switched.com, here.

On Dec. 20, a Work & Family column by Sue Shellenberger on p D1 of The Wall Street Journal referred to the under-25 "Look at Me Generation" and the willingness of people to disclose personal information, like early pregnancy (which employers sometimes find and are concerned about) on social networking sites.

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