Ever try to Google yourself? You know, just type in your name, press enter and see what pops up? Well if you say you’ve never tried, then 1. I don’t believe you, and 2. click on the blue word above and go try it! As we learned in class this week, Google owns all kinds of different companies, such as: Microsoft, Apple, YouTube, Facebook, and of course, Google. That’s crazy, right? Well what’s even crazier is the fact that out of almost 7.5 billion people in the world, that simple Google search of yourself will actually come up with accurate results. Scary, huh?
Even scarier, it comes up with links to the embarrassing Facebook posts from that late Middle School/ Early High School time- you know, the ones where you post about absolutely anything and everything you did that day or the ‘truth is’ posts because you were quote unquote ‘bored’. And what’s even worse is that text language spelling and exaggerated use of letters in your words that you once thought made you look cool- ‘Future jobz soooo don’t thnk ur cool.’ But ya know, hey, ‘thx 4 th mmrs of 13 y/o me’, Google.
So in class this week we learned about these types of information that portray your reputation online, that when you do a basic Google search of someone’s name anything can come up. With this time in our lives where we’re trying to become ‘real adults’, we can’t have future employers or connections seeing this, but rather seeing who we are becoming or our personal brand. BrandYourself is a website dedicated to all of this, aka your fairy godmother. You begin by typing in your name and seeing what actually does pop up in a google search, get an overall grade, and then you go through the top 10 search results and categorize them. Click ‘Positive’ for the ones that are you and you don’t care if people see them, ‘Negative’ for the ones you don’t want to be seen, or ‘Not Me’ for those that aren’t you. My initial score was a B+. I’m “pretty well represented” according to this rating. (Insert hair flip emoji here.)
Schaefer, R. (February 1, 2017). BrandYourself B+ Rating [Screenshot]. Retrieved from http://brandyourself.com/reportcard.
“Sweet,” I thought, “I passed.” Probably has to do with the fact that no one else really spells ‘Rylee’ the way my parents Then the site shows you what can be done to help ‘boost’ up your Google Search. So for me, it recommended that I create a longer bio on Facebook, to allow search engine sites to access my Facebook, and to post more on each of my social media sites. Okay, so first step: lets write a longer bio of 300 words. Man did that feel silly, I mean my About page on Facebook tells all that you need to know, oh well though. It felt kinda strange to publicize my account since my parents always told me to keep it private, but hey, I mean I get it. If I’m on private then what am I hiding? Plus it was for a grade so sorry mom. Lastly, I went on each of my social media sites: LinkedIn, Twitter, and Facebook and posted a status/ tweeted a tweet. I definitely need to work on keeping my sites current seeing as I just go on, scroll for a few minutes, maybe share/retweet something, and then get off.
So overall, I learned that although the Internet is helpful, it is definitely harmful as well (refer back to my ‘truth issssss’ example). But! And that’s a big but- there are sites like BrandYourself that are there to help you and your image/ reputation, so take advantage of them!! A little bit of work now can help guarantee you a potential career’s worth of work later.