Having a name like Margaret, it’s not a surprise that the first pictures that show up when I Google myself are a bunch of old ladies.
Another Margaret Vinton. Picture taken from her obituary, may she rest in peace. (Photo from Margaret Vinton obituary)
Another notable aspect about Googling myself is seeing the difference between “Margaret Vinton” and “Maggie Vinton.” While Margaret brings up a plethora of elderly ladies, Maggie brings up a bunch of toddlers, young adults, and, for some reason, monkeys.
Apparently, I have a furry alter ego. (Photo from Pinterest)
But the most important lesson I’ve gleaned from Googling myself is that I’m not an overly active internet user, and this is probably a positive thing. While Googling myself brings up my Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, and Instagram pages and profile pictures, nothing of an incriminating or embarrassing nature appears (thank goodness that my Facebook posts from junior high don’t show up. “Green Day is so effing bada**!” is a typical post from this era). My athletic profiles and pictures from both South Dakota School of Mines and Chadron also make an appearance, but hey, any future employer who’s looking me up probably would see this as a hiring point, because this implies I’ve learned how to balance my school and athletic lives (which is only partially true). For the most part, the preliminary Google posts about me are unassuming.
As I dig deeper into the archives of Margaret (or Maggie) Vinton, I’m pleasantly surprised by the quality of material about me that’s floating around on the world wide web (except for all the obits for old people with the name Margaret). I found a radio interview from high school, when I was student council president, about a volunteer project I was working on for the Pine Ridge Reservation. I found old statistics from my high school track career. I also found the address of my dear old Auntie Marge, from whom I received my namesake (but don’t try to send her a letter, because she passed away like 15 years ago). One worrisome aspect of this exercise, however, was that I found a site that supposedly contains my address and phone number. I didn’t check it out, because websites such as this one often contain viruses, but if it actually has the correct information, it would be relatively easy for anyone to come and hang out in my front lawn (not that I expect that they want to, but there’s always those weirdos out there). While I find most information about me on the internet to be pretty innocent, it wouldn’t be overly hard for some creep to find out where I live, what I like, and how to contact me. All they would have to do would be show up at my house with a monkey, and that would be it.
So, while I find most of the information about me that’s floating around the internet to be fairly unassuming and not capable of costing me a job with a future employer, I have to be careful to not release too much private information about myself, even if I find it to be innocent or simple, because it’s impossible to know who is seeing it or how they construe it. Also, I pray to the heavens that my Facebook profile is set to “private,” because I really don’t need a future employer to see my junior high internet ponderings.
This would be my response if someone delved into the murky depths of my Facebook page. (Photo CC by Marcelo Graciolll)