What does the internet say about you?

It turns out you don’t need to take a nude photo and post it on Facebook to earn a bad reputation.  You just need a presence on the internet.

I discovered this when I was looking for the phone number of an acquaintance, couldn’t find it in my local phone directory, and went on-line to continue the search.

Just because a search engine leads you to an innocent sounding link, such as “Click here. Have we got a ton of phone numbers for you,” doesn’t mean you’ll find what you’re seeking. The first clue that you’re going to waste a lot of time, and have to pay for the effort is, “Your search is 100% confidential. This person will never know what you’re up to.”

On my first try I reached a site that assured me I would find a phone number, but failed to mention that I would also be privileged to have access to the acquaintance’s marriage and/or divorce records, arrest records, traffic offenses, felonies within the county, state and country, and the same information about the rest of her family. All this for only a ten-minute wait followed by a request for $9.98.

On another site I found her address, the square footage and condition of her home, but no phone number.

Now I look back fondly to the days when my husband complained every time a phone book the size of a bus landed on our doorstep.  “They ought to put this information on-line,” he said.  Now that they have, I long for one of those hefty tomes of yesteryear.

Finally, I scrapped the phone number search, because I was curious as to what the internet said about me. Here’s what I learned from one site: I’m in my forties, have two arrest records, and once worked for the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.  All this was news to me. (read about the time Facebook told me I was at Bill Gates’ home.) I alerted my husband to come witness our miraculous return to near youth.  This time the site aged me by two decades and left him in his forties.

I also found five pages of my quotes in a random selection of newspaper and TV pieces from my years as a school district spokeswoman, and ages old insulting reader comments in response.

At this point, I can’t see any reason not to publish nude photos on Facebook.



About stillalife

I retired June 30, 2010 after working for 40 years in the field of education and most recently doing school public relations/community outreach in a mid-size urban school district. I wrote for superintendents and school board members. Now I'm writing for me and I hope for you. In this blog, I offer my own views coupled with the latest research on how to preserve our physical and mental health as we age, delve into issues most of us over 50 can relate to like noticing wrinkles and forgetting where we left our keys, discuss the pros and cons of different ways to engage our minds and bodies after we leave the workplace, and throw in an occasional book review, all peppered with a touch of humor, irony, and just plain silliness. Also, I'm on the third draft of my second novel since retirement.
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2 Responses to What does the internet say about you?

  1. Oh Ann, I can think of reasons! (I’m your age, remember.)

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