Googling myself

I have to admit it, I’ve done this before. So, obviously there were not many surprising results of this experiment. The first ten most popular hits include links to my social media profiles which is of course understandable. Other hits lead to an online book shop (I’ve edited a book), to student organization websites (I’ve been in student politics) to different writing work I’ve done for blogs and papers (I am a writer at times) and to a story on YLE.fi from over three years ago (it was actually me who was interviewed there, so no worries: old and embarrassing, but still real and all).

The most interesting piece of information was a genealogy website where they had listed a person with the same name who used to live in the 1800th century in Western Finland during the years 1716-1767. Since I live in Finland which is a tiny linguistic region, there are not many people with the exact same name as me. According to Google another person with the same name founded a design glass company in the 1970s. No danger of getting us two mixed up, either.

I have thought quite a few times that there are two sides to having a more common or international name. In my case, everything I publish with my name is quite easily traced to me as a person since Finland is a small country and our lingual world is tiny. Thus also having a Finnish name which is even relatively rare, it means you might be easily tracked down just by your first and last names. Of course this is a good thing since there is quite a cohesive portrait of me on Google: if someone searches for me, they are on to right track and learn things about me that I am OK with sharing. There’s two sides to this and it can also make you anxious sometimes: it is hard to be incognito in a crowd when you have a distinct recognizable name.

(Jaakko U.)

Published by deuzemedialife

Mediastudies, University of Amsterdam

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