Friday, August 10, 2007

Who are you?

I am a pig farmer, a dog breeder, an oral health co-ordinator, a writer on soap operas, a sales director at a property development company, a cookery book author, a Hollywood corporate accountant, a community worker and a nun. Google says so, so it must be true. Gratifyingly for my ego, the real me was actually the first entry on my vanity search; later, some reports I had written at the turn of the century about a struck-off medic appeared, preserved in the aspic of cyberspace.

“I’d have a great answer when my wife asked: ‘What did you do today darling?’” said my colleague after he tapped his name into the oracle. ”‘Oh, in the morning I split the atom, did a spot of power boating before lunch, then I wrote an article for The Guardian, before taking some photographs, rewiring a house and recording my new album.”

Apparently, search engines that ferret out personal information on people are a huge growth area. I find that quite frightening. The opportunities for identity fraud must be immense; not to mention schizophrenia. As a small child, I would apparently ask my family to guess the character I had chosen to be that day. I would sulk if they didn’t get it right. Imagine if the Internet had been around then. Which me shall I be today? Or shall I roll them all into one composite?

I don’t know which would be worst result of a vanity search: finding lots of details about yourself, or no mention of the real you at all...

Who will you be today?

19 comments:

IsobelMagsBuchan said...

I am me. Who are you?

Although I use a pseudonym online, there are many who know my real name and if they googled it all they would get is lots of stuff about a health worker, a doctor, a make up artist, a university lecturer, a once famous actress and a doll maker. They would get absolutely nothing of the real me although the real me is the same as the internet me but with a different name!

Mopsa said...

That is freaky - I never did it before and there are pages and pages relating to me, and mostly not my alter ego/namesakes, and I am no-one special. I have found stuff credited to me/my advice that I didn't know about, but has made me smile. I have also found a fictional character with my name. I hate to think what might happen in cyber space if folks take agin one!

Gill said...

I am fairly unique- there aren't many alternatives of me, although one of them did give me a turn when I went into the Bell in Tewksbury a few years ago. My name was written on the board that welcomes conferences etc. I thought somebody in the hotel must have a weird sense of precognition but it turned out there is another Gill Hands who is into hotel management, and like me it isn't her 'real' surname of course, but her husband's. Of course if I google myself I get lots of alternate mes anyway. There is the me that writes poetry and the me that has published books on Marx and Darwin and the me who is obsessed by the universal ladyboy. But they are all ME!

Gill said...

and the me who makes art and used to write for The Cumberland News. Strange what gets put up online! If I google the universal ladyboy I find a few people have appropriated shim and quoted bits of my blog which is rather fun, my meme is spreading. He isn't the messiah of course, just a naughty little ladyboy.

Nunhead Mum of One said...

I have a BSc Hons in Biomedical Exercise Science and I'm a top female runner and a dog walker. David is a musician of dubious quality!

the real me can only claim fame for the dog walking but yes, David is NOT a musician!

@themill said...

Fascinating - I was a finalist in the 2006 Miss England competition and in 1960 I wrote a paper on Alzhiemers(sp?)disease.

Yorkshire Pudding said...

Like you I am getting a little anxious about the way in which search engines are starting to really pick up the fine detail of our internet wanderings. We have to be much more aware of leaving comments etc as they may prove incriminatory.

rilly super said...

a thorough internet search reveals I have no resemblence to anyone else living or dead and if I did it would be entirely coincidental

don't bother with all these other yous M&M, we like this one just fine

Crystal Jigsaw said...

I wouldn't mind being someone who had an outdoor swimming pool for summer days and an indoor one for the winter. Other than that, I like just being plain old me.

Crystal xx

ziggi said...

absolutely nobody! The best I could find was a (naff) teacher in S Carolina with the same maiden name.

Marianne said...

In my married name, I don't exist, I am nobody. I have slipped under the net.

Under my maiden name however, I am a very exciting Black-Amercian author. Perhaps I shouldn't have got married? Think what an exciting life I would have had!

GeraniumCat said...

I'm a footballer! Yuck, how ghastly. Fortunately I play for a very minor team so maybe no one will ever know.

Apart from that, I'm just me, which is really dull. Must get a new life.

Stay at home dad said...

I'm myself, having written possibly the most boring financial article ever written. Then I go on to become half the Scottish population...

Pig in the Kitchen said...

I am Tulula Jipney, oh no, now I've told you my real name.

When I was little, I used to tap out the rhythm to a song playing in my head, and get people to try and guess the song. I found it incredible that they couldn't get it. My children do the same to me now, I have passed on the gene.

Tulula J.

Brom said...

I had over a million to choose from! Nothing special though.

mutterings and meanderings said...

IMB, that's rather deep!

Mopsa, in cyberspace, no one can hear you scream ;)

Gill, I bet the ULB went to tell them you were on the way ...God, you've done a lot of stuff m'dear ..

NMO, you could pretend to be them all...

@themill, I am sure you are indeed a beauty queen ...

YP, that's the thing - you can't take it back once you've typed it on ... arrrrrggggghhhh

So kind, Rilly, I reckon you're pretty unique ...

CJ, so rare to find someone comfortable in her own skin ...

Ziggi, isn't it good though that you are so rare?

Marianne, if you hadn't married, you wouldn't have your lovely sons ..

GC, I thought you were a girl?!

SAHD, I'm sure it's not boring at all. You write beautifully.

Pig, you are as bad as me making people guess who I was ...

Brom, you are very special.

Omega Mum said...

And did you read that they're about to launch one that offers you the opportunity to key in somebody's name and, based on local information garnered from the voting register, get everything about them - phone number, address, household. Apparently nothing you couldn't dig out yourself with sufficient effort, but still.
Congratulations on all your accomplishments. And nice that the real you was there so early on.

Lizzie said...

I know that I'm supposed to be this old girl 'avin a go on the blogger thing' but actually my name is Mikey and I live part -time in the Suffolk/Northumberland borders with my dear friend Brian (AKA Danny-boy) and I write loss-leader trailers for failing supermarkets. I do quite well, really. (The rest of the time, I look after Mummie in Dagenham.)

Karen said...

There is a Karen Hands that works for the Queensland Writers Centre as a manager and has done marketing stuff - weird that we are so similar but I want her jobs!

There is a me that is president of United Methodist Women.

There is a me that works for the Working Lives Foundation in Lancashire.

There is a me that talked to Milo Lynch for Thought into Action Ltd.

There is another me in Australia which is a specialist in a special machine to do with paper.

A lot of the time I get links to "karen's hands" doing something very naughty in an erotic story. Occasionally there is a link to the Myanmar race of people called Karen. Weirdly though there is a link to a site of photos where there are photos of Karen's hands next to Vince's hot chocolate which is incredibly weird considering my partner is called Vince!