This morning I decided to google myself. It's something I do routinely, mainly out of curiosity. It's always good to know what others can find out about you online. And when I say others, I mean acquaintances, co-workers, your boss, dating prospects, your ex, even future employers. Not that my life is all that exciting. You won't find out any juicy secrets about me online.
The google search was largely uneventful; it found websites that listed where I work, even though the information is consistently out-of-date and I haven't worked for those employers for many years. It's easy to contact those websites and have them remove the inaccurate profile from their database. The other thing that the search engine found were comments I had posted on a frugal/couponing blog, and some comments I'd posted on a diabetes-related Facebook fan page. Not really a big deal, but...
I guess I still get a little creeped out about privacy online (and really, that you should expect to have none). Having a blog, I have a lower level of expectation of privacy, considering anyone can read it. But nowadays, when you apply for a new job, employers/recruiters google your name to see what comes up. I realized that it was possible for potential employers to find out I have diabetes before ever deciding whether to call me for an interview and maybe I wouldn't get the call for an interview that I might have otherwise received. Sure, employers aren't supposed to discriminate based on that; there are laws to protect us from that. But really, in the early phases of applying for a job, how would you ever find that out? Or maybe they see I'm frugal and commenting on frugal-focused websites and won't like that, either. Who knows where their prejudices may lie or what conclusions they will draw about you. It concerned me enough that I deleted the comments I'd posted that were showing up when I googled my name. I guess it's that desire to want to control what information the entire world can find out about me before I'm ready for them to know it.
So why worry what a google search will produce, when I already have a public blog dedicated to talking about T1 and celiac? For me, the difference is that if you are reading this blog, titled Diabetes and Celiac Sunshine, it's because you already have the expectation that I have a relationship to diabetes and celiac disease. It's a different story when someone googles my name and finds it out that way. They may be surprised because they had no expectation of what the search engine would produce; and for a potential employer, it could have a negative impact.
I guess that's the risk you take when you have a blog or have your name attached to any social media. For me, this blog has enabled me to meet others who are affected by diabetes and/or celiac disease, from which I have benefited greatly, and in exchange, I accept that there are risks that could negatively impact me.
I just wondered if anyone else that either has a blog, or comments on blogs, ever worries about this too?