When it comes to my online visibility, I am surprisingly impressed. Even my mum recently admitted to having a cheeky Google of my name (she claims it was for my own safety), only to be disappointed with the lack of juicy gossip or drunken selfies that popped up.
It has to be said though, if you search correctly, you could probably find a lot about me. Obviously, Facebook has the largest source of noteworthy information, but second to that I’d say my Instagram and Twitter have the most information about me. Although Instagram doesn’t have much textual information, the pictures are taken at locations local to me mainly, so if you want to find out where to find me ordering a caramel latte on a Friday afternoon…I also find that, although on Twitter I’m more aware of what I post, however, a lot of my friends don’t share that sensibility so it’d be easy as pie for you to check out their profiles and therefore, see what town I live in etc.
Most my account settings are on ‘public’ and in a way I feel this forces me to think carefully about what I post. As for ‘why?’, I don’t think anyone can come up with a worthy answer unless your profile is promoting a business of yours or something official. I think the idea of strangers sharing their lives online is rather exciting and in some cases can be a learning experience as you’re seeing how people similar to our age are living their lives in their end of the world. I think we’d all be lying if we said we haven’t made an ‘internet best friend’ or two in our lifetimes.
When it comes to the internet, I don’t think any of us are completely in control – your friends and family will often post images or information about you that you may not have consented to. Ultimately, it’s a good idea to use nicknames and alter-egos online to help prevent unwanted visitors following your life online, but however hard you try, I bet that embarrassing photo of you taken in 2008 (or even earlier god forbid) will still come back to haunt you in 50 years time..