I have an uncommonly common name. I have only ever met one other Mary Anne who wasn’t at least forty years old than me but that’s what you get when you have two names that were extremely popular from about the 1920s thru the 60s. Throw in a last name like Johnson and you got yourself a ton of common names in an unlikely combination. I didn’t really know what to expect when I googled myself.
The first thing I did was clicked ‘Images’ to see what would be under there. Unsurprisingly, there were a ton of pictures of 40-60 era teenagers and old photographs of women in cat-eye glasses and blouses. There were also images of smiling business women, straight-faced prairie wives, Mary Ann from Gilligan’s Island and even a couple of me! One of my pictures is the profile picture from my professional twitter account and the other from my CSC Merit page (which to be honest I totally forgot existed).
Under the web search section there were links leading to other people’s sites and on about the second page there was a link to my professional Twitter which can be reached by anyone, if they log in first. There was a portal to Facebook pages, but mine only has limited information to people who are not friends with me. I also found articles about myself from schools I have attended announcing the honor roll. I also discovered I am still listed on the SDHSAA (South Dakota High School Activities Association) page for marching at a football tournament with my high school’s marching band and am in some pictures cheerleading at state basketball and wrestling tournaments.
I added “Chadron, NE” behind my name and hit ‘enter’ to see if anything else would come up. The roster for the Chadron State cheer team and CSC’s academic honors page were the only new pages to appear. ‘Images’ only brought up my individual headshot from cheering for CSC this past fall.
I am glad that as much as the internet can expose us, we are also capable of setting up accounts that block out unwanted vistiors. We need to teach our students how to keep themselves safe online and publish only what can be seen by all lines.