If you’ve been online for any amount of time, if you know your way around the Internet and are generally aware of how the system works, if you have established your online presence and left your mark behind, you would definitely be guilty of doing a vanity search at some point of time. And if you haven’t, well, all I can say is that you’re missing out on one of the simple and unexpected pleasures that the Internet offers.
A vanity search on Google or any other search engine throws up the names of sites that feature your name on the net – on online networking sites, as bylines if you’ve written articles or have your own blog, and elsewhere too. Of course, if you share the name of a celebrity, then you’re out of luck because you have to provide more detailed search terms if you want to filter your name from the millions of hits that a celebrity’s name is bound to return.
They’re called vanity searches, but very often, they help do much more than just feed your ego. When you search for your name online, you can see what others are saying about you, or if they’re talking about you at all. Sometimes the latter may turn out to be a blessing in disguise, because, as the saying goes, no news is akin to good news.
If people are talking about you, you better hope that it’s all good, because when it’s not flattering, you don’t have much of a chance at either retribution or rebuttal.
Because of the cloak of anonymity that it offers, the Internet is a place where you can slander people’s good names and more often than not, get away with it. So unless you wish and are prepared to see the matter through, to go to court and procure an order that forces service providers and web hosts to reveal the identity of the people who dragged your good name through the mud, you’re most likely left with no satisfactory course of retaliation.
Even otherwise, it’s good to keep track of what people are saying about you, especially if you tend to live life in the limelight and if your actions and people’s perception of them could cause inconveniences or hindrances in your life. A word of caution though – don’t take every random mention of your name to heart, whether good or bad. It’s just not worth it, not when there’s bound to be something new in a few days.
This guest article was written by Adrienne Carlson, who regularly writes on the topic of forensic scientist schools. Adrienne welcomes your comments and questions at her email address: firstname.lastname@example.org.