Posted by: jgurner | January 14, 2011

Google Says I’m Boring

A recent discussion about what information might be dug up about a person on the Internets, coupled with a letter to Dear Abby I read today, got me to thinking: What’s out there about me?

Naturally, like everyone who has ever touched a computer, from time to time, I type my name into the Google search engine and see just what pops up. It’s been a long time since I’ve done this and I was curious to see what was out there now. Racy photos? Posts about participating in illegal acts? Smoking what might possibly be oregano with an Olympic speed skater in a New Orleans strip joint? Videos of me and Molly Ringwald in compromising positions? FaceySpace updates about skipping out on work to go drunken parasailing with hot, half-naked celebrities?

Sadly, no.

As hard as I’ve tried, I haven’t been able to get any of these things out there in cyberspace.

The truth is, according to Google, I’m pretty boring.

I don’t lead the exciting lives that other who share my name lead. I’m not the world-renowned chef or the painter or even the Australian opera singer. I’m not even the priest. Even he seems to have a more interesting life, at least according to Google.

Depending on which version of my name you type in, what you’re most likely to find are my social networking profiles – not that terribly exciting – my music sites – exciting to me and what I’m glad people would find first – and some of my newspaper articles and awards – interesting, but no longer relevant. And you’ll find a lot of old addresses – Pontotoc, Amory, Aberdeen – and my current one here in The Valley.

Granted, I didn’t dig exceedingly deep. I searched photos and mostly came up with a soccer player who has a similar, but not the same, last name. I searched for videos. Nothing. As it should be. The only actual news item I came across was a nine-year-old obit for my father with my name in it.

In this day and age where everyone is getting caught doing something particularly naughty because they’ve posted it on the InterWeb, I feel kind of bad. If I went on a job interview today, would a potential employer be disappointed in me because they couldn’t find pictures of me carousing around drunk? Even the pictures from the bachelorette party on Bourbon Street are disappointingly dull.

If there’s nothing scandalous out there for anyone to find, then, I’m either not doing anything worth note or interesting, or, I’m doing a good job in this age of ubiquitous information, of keeping it out of the cybervoid, you might say.

I disagree. I think it’s Google’s fault.

When Google looks up my name, it gives me options of names that are close to mine. just in case I mistyped, because it really can’t find that much about my name. Maybe, when someone is looking to see what terrible things I’ve done in the past and they search Google, and it comes up with nothing, it should do the same thing. If a potential employer is trying to find out if I like to party a lot, instead of just finding the blog where I wrote about the time I stayed up past midnight on a work night, it should supplement it with pictures it says are me doing keg stands last week at a local bar’s wet t-shirt contest (do they even have those any more?). Maybe when they are looking up the different updates I posted on FriendFace over the years, instead of showing the usual fare like “Wendy’s just gave me 11 chicken nuggets by mistake instead of 10! SCORE!!!” It should substitute “Man! Those cops do a thorough body cavity search when they think you’re smuggling illegal prescription meds out of Mexico! Fortunately, they were hidden REALLY deep…”

At this point in the game, I’m 43 after all, I think it’s too late to say it’s up to me to not be boring. It’s up to Google to make me interesting.

So, Google. In order to give those future souls something to glean for this series of tubes we call the Internets, here’s your first challenge: It’s 9:30 on a Friday night and it’s past my bed time, so I’m off to bed.

Find something better than that.


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