January 2, 2003
Googling is Serious Business
Everybody knows Google. It has even become a verb that was used on "Buffy the Vampire Slayer" when Willow was searching for information on a girl. She googled the girl to find her webpage. I googled my boss once and discovered that he was infamous in college for his skills at the Kevin Bacon game. If you google me, well, there are so many people with my name that you might have trouble knowing when its me and when its not (hint: I'm not a real estate agent, I'm not married to Tim Butcher, and I'm not a romance novelist.. this narrows it down.) If you really want to get the dirt on me, I suggest Google Groups, the newsgroup archive going back about 20 years. I wasn't a swimmer for a university team, but most of them are me, embarrassing religious-political-sexual ones and all.
Anyway. Some people have said that there are moral implications in googling your best friends, worst enemies, and blind dates. They say that googling is a form of stalking. Others point out that even if it is ok, people have to learn to take everything with a grain of salt, since not everything on the Internet is true, and not every page that comes up when you search for "John Doe" is going to be your John Doe.
Be that as it may, I say there's nothing wrong with a good google. Most things out there are things people put up themselves, even if it was when they were young and stupid and going through that Marxist phase. For me, looking up old pages at the Internet Archive or googling myself is sort of like a diary, where I can look back and see where I was 5 years ago. I think people who are opposed to googling are just egotistical. I mean, if this is something you're worried about, how many people do you think are checking up on you anyway? Get real! PFFT!
Published: January 2, 2003