Are You What You Google?

08Jul08

I went to see this summer’s most promising mindless action movies this week, Wanted. It’s about this miserable nobody who suddenly has his life turned upside down when he is recruited into a secret society of assassins and discovers he has a natural gift for shooting people in a dramatic fashion and looking hot and being infatuated by Angelina Jolie.

The way Wanted demonstrates the “nobody” of Wesley Gibson is to have him Google himself. I thought it was interesting that Google has become the most evident barometer for not only our online presence, but the entire measure of our relevance in the world. Wesley Gibson improbably Googles no results, which is tragic in a very timely kind of way, but more importantly, in about 15 seconds of an hour and 45 minute movie, establishes that Wesley Gibson is absolutely insignificant in every way.

Several of my fellow ASL-ers and I do a lot of what we do in order to avoid being Wesley Gibson-ed. I started my blog so I’d Google better and am slowly assailing my way through the front page of my Google search, with LinkedIn, Twitter, Flickr and ASL posts as my weapons of relevance. But does my tweet about how much I liked Wanted, my live-blog of the Top Chef finale and the picture I posted of my parents and me at my graduation really define me?

In this case…yeah, it kinda does. But are you always what you Google?

-Amy Yen



2 Responses to “Are You What You Google?”

  1. @mariagarcia and I weren’t big fans of Wanted… but the Google scene you pulled out here definitely struck me as well. It’s funny because I did start blogging in order to speak on behalf of myself rather than have a bunch of results for other “Amanda Mooney” Web users speak on my behalf.

    I’ve heard that some parents are Googling potential baby names before naming their children to ensure that he or she is well represented. Before, our parents would say things like “I knew a [insert boy/girl name] once who was picked on so much in school. I can’t name my kid that.” Now they’re saying, “I once Googled [insert boy/girl name] and the results were horrible. I can’t name my kid that.”

    Anyway, interesting post Amy. And yes, from knowing you, I can say that your photos, tweets and blog posts definitely represent you quite well:)

  2. I haven’t seen the movie, but I have been thinking about your ideas recently. After I started blogging, I realized that you do have the ability to change your google status- through blogging, LinkedIn, Twitter, etc. I don’t think the mainstream masses (other than us bloggers) realize the ease and ability to change their google search status.

    But Google isn’t just a search engine any more. Now that it is used so frequently as a verb, I personally (and unconsciously) have changed my speech. Instead of using verbs such as “research” or even “go online,” I just say “I’ll google it.”

    Google can be your resume—and can be used to your advantage—if you know what tools to use.



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