"Searching & Stalking"
Tuesday, March 29, 2011 12:38:12 AM
"All you took
I gladly gave
There is nothing left for me to save"
- All of Me
(Gerald Marks & Seymour Simons, Songwriters)
"...and, finally, please feel free to Google me." I've ended many an interview with that line. Straight up, I'll admit it - I loves me some Google. There are days when you don't even know what exactly you're looking for, and between Google, Yahoo and Bing, you can locate it in less than ten minutes. How can you not love an internet search engine? With this in mind, at least once a month I Google myself to make sure that nothing untoward has been posted about me, and that I can still end an interview with that line. I've found my house online, I've found old misplaced friends, I've tracked down schoolmates I'd lost touch with - I even know what people are saying about my siblings! Awesome, right? Right?
Then today, it finally hit me - "I wonder exactly how much information I could gather about me online?" This was not good. Not good at all. First, it starts off rather well. A few blog posts on My Opera, followed by madego on Twitter, then it's onto Flickr: Mervyn de Goeas' Photostream. So far, so good. Before the first Results Page is done, I've found out that I've written a screenplay for a film that is currently in limbo (Trinidad & Tobago Film Company website), and that I've shopped at and reviewed stuff on Amazon.com. Okay. I go over to Amazon to see what I can access - all I can find out is that I'm located somewhere in Trinidad & Tobago. Meh - common knowledge.
On page two, I gather some information on a couple of stage shows I've worked on, come across an article on some awards I've won, and see an article in the Trinidad Newsday. Page three is kinda more of the same - a review of a play I'd directed in 2004, something about a television show I'd worked on, a version of our Family Tree, something about me on Qwerty, and...and then there it is - my home address and telephone number! WTH!?! After that it just goes insane - I'm mentioned on other people's blogs, I'm finding myself on lists of the followed on Twitter and others, someone has me listed as a friend on Amazon.com! I didn't even know you could do that without my knowledge!!!
I calm down, but still forge ahead. I move over to Yahoo and Bing - more of the same. At this point I don't really want to know too much more. I want to see what I find in images. There they are - all the stuff I've put up on Flickr and My Opera, not to mention that horrible picture at the top of the post! Am beginning to think that maybe I should rethink the entire tagging process. Maybe I should make it more difficult for people to find me. What the point of that would be, however, I don't know. As it stands, if someone was really stalking me, the internet would lead them right to my doorstep...and there's nothing that I could really do about that, is there?