Tuesday, June 23, 2009

My Internet Self

Today I got another friend request on Facebook from a future classmate. I always feel mixed about accepting these requests. On one hand, it's nice to develop somewhat of a rapport with my classmates, since they will be the people I spend all my time with next year. On the other hand, it feels weird to give them a glimpse of my life now, before our experiences all merge. There have been a few people that I've exchanged emails with or followed on Twitter, but it always feels like the Facebook friend request gives them access to all my photos and notes and identity. Not that I assume everyone is going to pore over my profile in detail... it's just weird that they CAN.

Despite not really having anything to hide, I do tend to keep my profile very private. (Yeah, right, nothing to hide, you say? Seriously... my mom's on Facebook with complete access to everything posted by me or about me...) It just comes down to controlling who has what information about me. I remember I went to a party a few years ago, and I met this girl for the first time, and she commented on pictures I had previously posted. Since that time, I changed my settings so only friends could see anything. I guess you just never know who's going to tag a picture and put a misleading caption on it, or make a comment that is a private joke that could totally throw someone else off.

Since I'm finishing up at my job (18 days, but who's counting? Yikes... so much to do in that time!), I'm very aware that it will not be long before internship searching and another job hunt begin. While I wouldn't expect that every potential future employer would Google me or look me up on Facebook, I definitely know that it's possible. As a result, I do search my name regularly to see what shows up. (Met a fellow blogger who shares my name in the process!) So far, I haven't found anything I'm ashamed of, but nothing particularly astonishing either.

Anyway... just thought I'd throw this out there for a little discussion, perhaps. How much of your identity do you reveal online through public forms? How private is your Facebook profile? Are you ever worried what recruiters/future classmates may find?


I am His Beloved said...

Good thought..I never realized how easy it was to "find" me by a simple google search until you did just that. Quite eye opening..I constantly struggle with how much of my name and information to share...I want to be transparent and yet there are instances where that transparency could cause repercussions with my job,family, etc..I think I will go google me and see what shows up!

JulyDream said...

I too search my name on occassion. I think it's normal and good to know the "dirt" on yourself, esp given that I have unique name.

That said, I'd friend future classmates and exchange emails with them. You will meet them soon and you could even given them "limited" profile access. This was one way I met a number of people before school.

Also, make sure you group them as you add them. It makes sorting later easier. You will undoubtedly have 100+ friend requests as school starts. Just the way it is. :)

Metal said...

I think, I am a bit too open, in the sense I dont mind if people add me on FB/orkut without actually being acquainted with me. I am very curious to know about others and to tell them my stories. I do realize though that this could put me in trouble someday. But thats how I am!