Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Self Stalking

When I was searching the Internet for myself, it was not very easy. Although there are not many Patrick Connolly’s in Wisconsin, there are thousands of people with my name all over Ireland. Moreover, since I have searched myself on my own computer in the past I was used to seeing my results. But when I used a random school computer I was surprised with how hard it was to find information regarding my life. When I searched my name using Pages, or WhitePages my personal information seemed pretty hidden. Also, since both my parents have moved recently the address that can be found under my name is my old address regardless. When I began to search the name of my town and my name in Google, lots of results from “Staples Volleyball” appeared from newspaper articles in local papers about my volleyball games. I also keep all my social media accounts on strict private settings, so the most that could be viewed from one of these accounts is my home page. In other words, anything I would have wanted hidden (posts, comments, photos) were hidden from public Google searches. As a result of my popular name, relocations and strict social media settings Google searches for Patrick Connolly were not that informational. But I view that as a victory in my books. Although I could always be a little more censored while online, I am very happy with my online presence and how a complete stranger would view me on the web.

Go Big Read - Shiza Shahid

Last night I had to opportunity to listen to a remarkable woman talk about her experiences with education and the importance of educating girls, and basically educating everyone.
I read the Go Big Read book, I Am Malala late last year when I received it as a Christmas present from my mother.  I had been following Malala's story for awhile up until then and was immediately engrossed in the book.  Because of this I was extremely excited when I heard that I Am Malala was going to be the Go Big Read book this year. 
I did not know much about Shahid going into this lecture, but I quickly found out that she is as much of an inspiration as Malala herself.  At only 25 years old Shiza Shahid has co-founded the Malala Fund and is the CEO of this organization.  At only 20 years old she ran a educational summer camp for girls, including Malala, who were displaced and not allowed to go to school by the Taliban.  The amount that she has accomplished in a seemingly short time is very inspiring and shows that it doesn't matter how young you are, you can create change if you are willing to put the effort in.  There are two big aspects  that I got out of Shiza's lecture.  One is the value that education is a universal human right, something that I am extremely passionate about to begin with, but that many people don't have access to. When Shiza visited Malala in the hospital after she had been shot, she asked her what the world could do to help her.  Malala responded that she was fine "tell them to help the other girls", she said. 
Another thing that stuck with me in this lecture is the fact that just because you are not reaching out on a global level, does not mean that you are not making an impact, quite the opposite actually.  Shiza explained that the Malala Fund focuses the most on working in specific communities and with community leaders (they also work with world leaders, but community is there biggest focus).  By working on a smaller level you can begin to intact change easier and it will be more beneficial to you and the people you are helping.  As an avid volunteer and a member of many volunteer organizations, this stuck home for me.  Shiza also talked about volunteering she was involved in in Pakistan before she went to university.  She explained how she used social media to organize protests, which connected a lot to what we have been talking about in class most recently, especially in the article about social media and the Egyptian Revolution.
Overall this speech was incredible and I am so lucky to go to a university that puts on events like these to no cost to me.  I am extremely lucky to be able to receive a higher education when many women and girls cannot, and Shiz Shahid's talk reminded me to never take that freedom for granted.

Shiza Shahid- I am Malala Go Big Read

          Walking home after listening to Shiza Shahid, i began to seriously rethink my contributions to society. Malala Yousafzai is an extraordinary young girl, two years younger than myself, who has not only already improved the lives of many school girls in the community in the Swat Valley she grew up in, but she has made the effort to begin a global fight to stand up for women's rights, and everyones rights to an education because education is a universal human right. Shiza Shahid, a women just older than myself, is a social and political activist who stood by Yousafzai's side after the tragic incident in which she was shot at in the head at point blank range. She was shot because she actively fought for her right to an education. Yousafzai miraculously had no long term damage. I remember when this happened, hearing about it on the news, how it came to celebrities attention that a young girl was shot by the Taliban for wanting to go to school. People were publicly saying that more people should join the fight, everyone deserves to get an education.  Its heartbreaking that it took the brutality of a young girl getting shot in order for the world to pay attention to the larger issue at hand, the lack of education affecting millions of girls.
           In the hospital just after the incident Shahid was by Yousafzai's side, she asked her what the world can do to help because people want to help her; Yousafzai said "I'm fine, tell them to help the other girls".  She understand that the attention should not solely be on the attack, but on women's right to go to school, and the reason she was attacked. Even as she lay in her hospital bed, with a bullet having been recently removed from her head, she was still worried about the rest of the girls who don't have an education. She mentioned how women are our most untapped resource prevented from having that knowledge because millions of girls around the world don't even have access to primary education. Groups like the Taliban are preventing girls form having that. Shahid went ahead to quit her job in order to help empower people to follow Yousafzai's beliefs and build an organization that sends her message. I have never fathomed what it would be like if i had to fight to go to school, not only not having easy access to an education, but having people fight against me going to school.
        While i have volunteered much of my life, i began to wonder what important work i have genuinely done that would make a global impact, but i couldn't come up with anything. I began to rethink about what Shahid had really said, the importance of people hearing the cry around the world "I am Malala". The importance isn't in being famous for your work as a social activist fighting for women's rights in war stricken countries, but the importance of promising to be stronger so you don't let your fears hold you back, people need to speak out and fight for what they believe in. Following that promise is what made Malala Yousafzai so strong.

Nicki Hulick

Exploring the internet Over the weekend

This weekend I took the opportunity to explore what an stranger could find out about myself on the internet knowing various things about me. One of the first interesting things I found while searching my area, is that living only a couple miles from downtown Chicago truly makes it hard to distinguish what type of person I am from a person who would live a couple miles away.  The population of Cook County is over 5 million people, and pretty racially diverse, there is a small chance of distinguishing what type of person I am. While if someone only had access to my zip code, they would be able to successfully deduct my ethnicity.
            Knowing my full name and searching it on Google wasn’t as horrifying as I expected it to be. One of the first links that comes up indicates there are five people named Nicole Hulick in the United States, however their locations are states I don’t live in. On Facebook you don’t have access to anything on my page, and you can see there are other Nicole Hulick profile pictures while mine is blocked. However, searching Google images on Nicole Hulick leads to numerous Facebook profile pictures of mine, but also numerous pictures of my mother, which is not only strange, but also semi disturbing. Knowing there are specific algorithms to Google makes me wonder if searching from a Wisconsin computer would lead to my page due to my location in Wisconsin, than through me that would connect to my mothers page, or it connects to her page just from the last name.

Knowing this is the representation of my existence is in a way pretty frustrating; no interesting pages come up, there isn’t anything about my education or any work or volunteering I’ve done. However, it is reassuring to know that searching for me, you must know my address, my name, and my age in order to figure out- yet still unreliably-which pictures are of me, and that I have successfully privatized my images and videos on the internet where a person of basic computing skills wouldn’t have the access to them.

Over the Weekend: Self Search

I spent some time looking myself up on the internet over various outlets online. I first started by entering some of my basic information (Address, Phone Number, Email) on a few websites. I actually found that by entering my basic information online, not a lot of personal information was revealed. In Access Dane basically a picture of my farm came up with some information about the land worth and that was about it. When putting my cell phone number on the White Pages website, the only information that was available was that I am located in the Madison/Fitchburg area. And basically in the Mapping America sight, it just pinpointed my parent's farm and told me how dominating the white population is, which I was already aware of.

I followed up the basic search of myself by doing some research on different social media sites (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram). I tend to stay protective of myself on social media so I wasn't expecting to find too much. Since becoming an adult, I have limited my profile on Facebook and have kept a close eye on anything that gets posted on my timeline. However, it is a bit creepy that people who are not my Facebook friends are able to see my age, education, and work experience. My Instagram account is private, meaning that anyone who I do not accept can't see my profile or posts.

After looking on Social Media, I concluded my research by looking myself up using Google search. Similar to my previous search, the first links after searching my name on Google was my various Social Media profiles. Most of the pictures and information that came up was about stuff that I have posted on Pinterest with no private information exposed. It was actually super interesting that when I typed my name in, so many pictures, like a lot of pictures, of Hilary Duff came up. I have absolutely no idea why this happened, but I found it pretty comical. Overall, I feel pretty comfortable about what information is exposed about me online.

My Information Online

I have been strangeously excited for the assignment of this weekend searching my information online because from the readings of last week I learned that a stranger is able to access to information about me without my awareness. This is very uncomfortable and frightening, but at the same time also astonishing at the fact that I might have voluntarily disclosed myself to the public.
After I researched about myself on the Google given only few information such as e-mail address, phone number, and name, however unexpectedly, I could not find any information that I did not want to expose to the public, only profile I deliberately posted. So it was in the Facebook. Through looking at my account by viewing by a stranger, I could only find my picture and a college I am currently attending, information that I agreed to show to others even though they are not my acquaintances.
I have thought that the Facebook would be the easiest approach to access to information about myself (and maybe it actually is to some people), but it seems not provide any information that I could feel uncomfortable to open to the public. Also, when someone want to search about me on the Google, one only can find pictures or news about a Korean actress who has the same nicname as mine. It might sound funny, but after research the results rather let me down because I felt like the world does not know me or does not have desire to know about me.

Monday, October 27, 2014

When Someone Searches for Me

When someone searches for me on the internet, the website they use to do so matters. As we have learned in class, different websites' algorithms will yield different results. I explored various popular internet search tools and found my results interesting. First of all, according to Google, I have a Pinterest. Let me tell you, Google is wrong. After searching my name in a few different formats, I found mostly other people that share my name. The exception would be that my LinkedIn picture appears on a Google images search. In terms of social networking analysis, I couldn't find my Twitter because I use an alias, and  I could only see my profile picture on Facebook because the account is private. Tracking backwards through some of my searches, the reverse phone number search tool on the White Pages website gave virtually no information about myself- I was a little disappointed, but still thoroughly reassured that no one is stalking me. I hope. Another search function I used that I think is worth mentioning is Google Maps. By knowing someone's address, it is possible to see a picture of its view from the street. Similarly, Zillow.com allows anybody to look up the last time any house or address was in a transaction, and the purchase price is shown. I think this relates to the first few searches that Greg had us complete, but it is an even more numerical socio-economic indicator located online. Regardless, I think my online persona, or presence, is probably relatively mild as compared to other people my age.

Go Big Read- Shiza Shahid

     Tonight I attended one of the Go Big Read events at Union South’s Varsity Hall. Shiza Shahid was the keynote speaker for the event and shared her motivations her book, “I Am Malala.” She is an entrepreneur and social activist from Pakistan. Throughout her lecture, Shahid hits on four lessons/intentions for her presentation. The first intention was about growth and discovery. She shared her belief that every person who wants to pursue their dreams should be able to do so. She attributes the fulfillment of her dream to her parents who were born into poor families in Pakistan. Shiza Shahid thanks them for making education their number one priority. Shiza was able to leave Pakistan and attend Stanford University thanks to her parents. She was thrilled to be offered this opportunity because at the time, Pakistan had the second highest rate of kids out of school.
     Her second lesson was about power. She repeated over and over how we have the power to change what we cannot accept. She then shares her experience of being in her dorm room as a sophomore when something happened on the news. An 11-year-old girl from a town three miles away from hers was shot in the head for speaking up about education. The young girl, Malala, expressed how the Taliban had shut down her school and her right to an education. This news report resonated with Shiza because that could’ve easily been her.
     Shiza Shahid then speaks of her third intention living a life of passion. She talked about how the video would not stop playing in her head and she felt inclined to act. She was so passionate about the belief that women should have the right to an education that she began the Malala Fund.
     She then moved onto her fourth intention about the power of innovating and creating. Shiza implemented the Malala fund, which empowers girls to raise their voices and unlock their potential to an education, just as Malala did. She worked with grassroots leader so they could fund the program in an appropriate way. Her ultimate goal is for every girl to reach her true potential, just as Shiza was given the opportunity to do.

    She ends the presentation by saying “you are strong. Remember that.” She tells us to remember that we are all Malala in some way and have the power to change the world around us if we speak up.   
     I found this event to be very empowering and informative. We hear about the Taliban in the news and its effects on the Middle East, but do not hear personal accounts very often. Witnessing someone with first-hand experience on the issue made me very appreciative of our access to education in the United States. Her talk inspired me to speak up when I feel strongly about something, just as Malala did. 

Go Big Read- I Am Malala

As a privileged girl from the East Coast, attending one of the most prestigious universities in the world, hearing the story of Malala was incredibly eye opening. As an American, education has become a necessity, a constitutional right, and has veered more and more away from being considered a “privilege.” I can drop out of school with in seconds if I so desire, like the multi-billionaires that are Mark Zuckerberg and Bill Gates. That’s why plights such as Malala’s are so intriguing to me. Malala, a young girl of seventeen years old, the age of my na├»ve, college-applying, younger sister, was not given this freedom. Instead of sitting by ideally, she spoke out for this right and was shot in the head three times. To me, it’s incredibly saddening that this poor girl would have to suffer three bullet shots at point blank range and almost lose her life to be heard and understood, but that “shot heard round the world,” certainly did generate the necessary backing to make a change in funding girls’ education.

Malala grew up in a small village, the Swat Valley, in the terrorist and poverty stricken country of Pakistan. Malala, along with thousands of other young girls, were and still are restricted of basic human rights, like the right to attend school. Education, especially the education of women, is the “silver bullet to development,” states the co-founder of the Malala Fund, Shiza Shahid. It’s true, education leads to understanding and knowledge, which then leads to change and power. That’s what the Taliban and other controlling forces fear, a threat to their power, so they attempt to suppress it. It’s terrifying and upsetting to think that people are so crazy about their authority that they would shoot a seventeen-year-old girl for it, a girl who could’ve been my sister. Malala demonstrates a strength and power that we all possess within ourselves, a force to stand up for what we believe in and do anything to achieve it. 

Over the Weekend

I started my personal search by looking up my house phone number in the white pages. Immediately, an outsider can see that I’m on the Cablevision Lightpath Landline in South Salem, NY, the names of my family members who live with me, a map of where my house is located and how close my neighbors are, and also the names of my grandparents who are related to my Dad. The Access Dane website didn’t have my address listed on the site. From the NY Times site, I found that my town is 89% white and the population is 5,439. Also, I found that 39% of households have incomes over $200,000 and only 4% of households earn under $30,000. The median income is $170,021. An outsider can also see that the median home value is $801,000. 98% percent of high school students graduate and 41% get a Master’s degree or higher in college. Next I had my friend unfriend me and search me on Facebook. She could see that I’m at college, I seem happy, I have school spirit, I work at Campus Job, I’m from Westchester, NY and more specifically, South Salem, and I like a lot of country music pages. I was pretty surprised that this much information wasn’t private, so I’m probably going to change that. On google, soccer articles from high school showed up. Also, on google images, pictures of both me and my high schools friends came up. Nothing showed up when I searched my cell phone number on Google. From this representation of my from an outsider’s perspective, you can see a lot about the area I grew up in and where I am now, but not much about my personality or anything deeper than some broad details. I think the representation of my location is pretty accurate, and that can be used to imply some things about me. Using google revealed more about me personally because you could see soccer articles, my LIS 201 blog page, and even some old vines. I was surprised at how much information someone could accumulate about me just be searching different places that are public. 

Sunday, October 26, 2014

Over the Weekend

After searching through white pages, american facts, and access dane, I found no information on myself. When I typed in my number on white pages, my number came up with the city I live in, but that information is already known due to my area code. I found out general information about the city I live in, but nothing specifically about me or my family. There is 28,000 people living in  my zip code with 23,000 being white and the next major ethnicity being african American Hispanic. The average age in my zip code is 37 years old. I tried looking for the median income of my zip code, but that information seemed to be classified. I then searched myself on Facebook, MySpace, and Linkedin, and once again was barely able to find any information  about myself. Apparently there are  22 pages of Matthew Reichs and after going through the first fifteen pages and not finding myself, I gave up. I didn't find anything on MySpace, but found myself on Linkedin quickly. My profile is blocked, so the only thing a stranger would be able to see is a picture of myself in a suit. I then typed my name in on google, and the only thing personally related to me that popped about was about high school basketball. After doing extensive research about myself, it seems as if I am not that popular. If a stranger were to look for me the only useful information they would find is that I played a high school basketball in Los Angeles California. They would also be able to see a picture of me in a suit, but the picture is pretty blurry and unclear. I'm a little suprised I wasn't able to find any significant information about myself, especially on Facebook. I'm also suprised I was unable to find any information about which college I attend. Ultimately, if someone was looking for me on the web, they would have a very hard time finding me.

Over the weekend - Search for myself

For the weekend assignment, I started by looking up my phone number, zip code, address and other information about my hometown. From the reverse phone search, information on my carrier and where the line originates from came up. When looking up my zip code I found out some interesting facts about the demographics in my neighborhood.
  • Such as the majority of people in my area are 25-35 years old and 80% are 16 years old or older. 
  • The majority of inhabitants are of the White, Asian and Hispanic race (in descending order).
  • Almost 60% of the household are of families.
  • It is an almost equal split of males (50.3%) and females (49.7%).
When searching on accessdane my address couldn't be found. I kept receiving the "Parcel not found" page. When searcing on the NYT "Mapping America" I could look into a few block radius of my neighborhood and find the census data on a smaller scale.
  • In my census tract, there approximately 7,364 residents.
  • 43% are white.
  • 42% are Hispanic.
Next I did a social media search of myself and found quite the interesting results. The first on being a YouTube page in my name (I don't have a youtube page...) However, someone with the same name as me as a page with young kids posting videos of them dancing around in their house such as "Awesome dance party" or "boyz dancing to hey ya". (Like I said, interesting...) Next when I searched Facebook, my profile didn't even come up in the top results. However, my full Pinterest page is visible to the public. So according to that, I'm a food and shoe addicted home decorator! When I found my name on LinkedIn, it led me to a sign up page. I seem to be well protected from public viewers it appears!

When Google Searching, my name brought up my facebook, linkedin profile, pinterest board, and many accounts that were in my name but not me. When searching my email, my old high school appeared along with some interesting results of "bboys definitions" and "peekyou.com". When googling my phone number, a lot of phone locators came up, a few chinese websites and other mobile tracking sites, but nothing with my name or information.

Overall, searching myself on the web didn't display too much information. Besides the census information in my neighborhood and my pinterest profile, the rest of my social media and personal information don't seem to be that accessible to a "public person".

Over the Weekend- Self Search

            Searching myself on many different websites opened my eyes to why people have a problem with the information available on the Internet.  I have Googled myself before, but I’ve never gone any further to find everything about myself that is available to anyone on the Internet. 
I began with Whitepages.com where I entered my phone number.  With that input, I could immediately find out the phone number’s general location, and with a payment of $3.99, anyone can get the homeowner’s name, address, average income, and home value.  Then I entered my zipcode on Factfinder, which allowed me to see the racial, income, and family demographics of the area.  Then I explored different areas of the New York Times distribution map, which showed the racial, income, and educational demographics of different areas.  For both of these websites, I found the results very interesting, and I considered it general enough that it doesn’t give away very personal information about any individuals.  I couldn’t find any results with Access Dane with the information I put in. 
Then, I began the research on my individual self and started with Facebook and other social media websites.  I was relieved to learn that I could not find my Facebook profile by just searching for it on Google.  Then, I looked at my Facebook from a friend’s point of view.  There wasn’t anything bad that I would be embarrassed of on my profile, but I did notice there is a lot of information I share about myself that is available to the 800+ “friends” I have on Facebook. When I did the Google search, I used both my computer and a general Wisconsin computer.  When using my own computer, the results brought up more information and images relevant to me than the results found with the public computer.  When using the general computer, I could not find anything when I used just my name.  I had to put in more specific facts about myself to come up with anything relevant to me.  The first Google image brought forth was one of my Facebook profile pictures, but then most of the following pictures were not of me but still relevant to the subject I was searching.  For example, when I included my high school, I couldn’t find much but my track results and pictures that had been on the school’s homepage.  If a geodemographic firm was researching me, I believe my “digital puppet” would paint me as a female teen from a Northwest suburb of Chicago along with the demographic information that can be found with those facts. 
Overall, I don’t think people can gain a very descript idea of me without having known other information about me already.  I have a pretty common name, so there are pages upon pages of other, better known “Michelle McGuire’s”.  I felt that the reverse phone number look-up on Whitepages.com was the website that made me the most uncomfortable.  With just a phone number, anybody can find out the owner’s address and annual income.  All of the results I found didn’t necessarily surprise me, but it made me realize how I should be very aware of how my image could be perceived on the Internet.  There is already enough information on Google about myself that I did not post, so I should be careful about what sort of pictures and information I should post and how my privacy settings are set on each social media site.

The Very Well Connected Blog Critique

                          In the book the Young and Digital written by Craig Watkins, Watkins conducts several interviews with parents, young people, and educators in an attempt to understand how a digital lifestyle affects the interactions and relationships of the world's youth. The Young and Digital, published in September 2010 by Beacon Press, is a book that was published for general readers, but pertains more to a social media professional. Parents, young adults, and educators are all fascinated by our younger generation's constant obsession with technology, and debate whether this attachment is beneficial or harmful to youth's development. In The Very Well Connected, chapter three of The Young and Digital, Watkins examines the pros and cons of youth's reliance on technology and proves to critics that online communities can be just as, if not more efficient than offline communities. S. Craig Watkins is a radio and television professor at the University of Texas Austin and is also a media expert regarding the connection between youth culture and the digital age. I believe his audience views his opinions with credibility, as every book critique website rated him highly, but I was unable to find any scholarly reviews through a database or Google scholar. In The Very Well Connected, Watkins aims to silence critics who claim that society's dependence on digital social interaction reduces human contact and ruins traditional ways of enhancing and maintaining relationships. 

        In chapter three The Very Well Connected, Watkins utilizes surveys and statistics to prove that society's drastic increase of online interaction does not hurt, but rather enhances youth's connections and relationships. Watkins recognizes critics' claims that dependence on technology leads people to become anti-social as an understandable concern, but insists that society is not obsessed with the technology itself, but rather on how the technology strengthens and connects friend groups together. Will this generation's preference to interact with a computer destroy face-to-face interaction? Watkins answers this question through statistics, personal interviews, and a simple comparison. Through surveys and in depth-interviews, Watkins confirmed that the social web is a place where the youth spend a lot of time and it may even act as a substitution for face-to-face interaction. However, Watkins is confident that "young people use the web as a tool to engage and maintain real-world-friendships and connections" (60). Watkins found that eighty four percent of young people he surveyed do not believe the online world is more exciting than the offline world and still prefer face-to-face interactions with their friends.  Watkins contends that social networking sites like Facebook and MySpace are not used to create new friendships but rather, to enhance social interaction within already existent relationships.  After interviewing a variety of people, Watkins claims that the youth's obsession with online social interaction only increases offline relationships. People are often separated by distance and the web presents the opportunity to monitor the everyday life of others. Watkins emphasizes that if social networking sites don't exist, all types of relationships will be damaged. Watkins compels that society's anxiety about a loss of face-to-face interaction is a recurring concern, and makes an historical comparison to the creation of the telephone. Social networking experts was so worried that the telephone would lead to a lack of human interaction, but the telephone has only yielded beneficial results for society. Watkins believes the web will undergo a similar process to the telephone and that critics will recognize how beneficial the web is and can be for maintaing and strengthening relationships.

     I agree with all of Watkins' points and believe that he presents a strong argument with valid evidence. As a member of this "youth generation", I can vouch that the web is a positive aspect of my life. The web may be a distraction at times, but I could truthfully say that the Internet, and Facebook specifically are the only reasons I still communicate with my friends from high school on a consistent basis. If I were unable to go online, it would be practically impossible to keep in touch with my friends. Through the Internet, I'm able to see what my friend's are up to on a day-to-day basis, which ultimately strengthens our connection. I don't go on the web everyday because the web fascinates me, but rather because it’s the most efficient way for me to communicate with my friends and family. My opinion could be biased because I am part of the "youth generation", but I completely agree with all of Watkins' statements. He has sufficient evidence for all of his claims and fairly presents the pros and cons of his argument. Watkins is a highly rated author and professor and due to his reasoning and plethora of evidence, it's hard to disagree with his argument. 

Related texts: 
1. Lost and Found: Rescuing Our Children and Youth from Video, Screen, Technology and Gaming Addiction By Kim Frank
2.Growing Up Social: Raising Relational Kids in a Screen-Driven World By Gary Chapman
3. Our Digital Device Addiction Is Causing A 'National Attention Deficit' By Carolyn Gregoire
4. Technology Addiction in Teens, The Global Post, By Damon Verial

Weekend Assignment: Search for Myself

When I searched for myself online I found just about what I expected to find, nothing.  I don’t have my name on any lease or any bills so when I tried to find myself using an address nothing for me came up.  What was weird though was the fact my parents didn’t even come up when I searched my home address.  Maybe they are trying to keep our life as private as possible.  The demographics of my home town came up just fine when I searched around on the New York Times’ website though.  It was a very typical result, upper-middle class white suburb; my hometown is extremely homogeneous.  When I looked at the different colored dots, it appeared to be nearly one solid color, which is nothing short of what I expected to find.  When I moved away from the sites that were suggested and tried to find myself on the different popular social networking sites I was only able to find myself on Facebook, which makes sense considering Facebook is the only social networking site I use.  I found it odd though that no other “Connor Klostermans” popped up when searching as my name is not totally unique and I have found other Connor Klostermans on Facebook before.  I was surprised I was the only one I found when using Facebook.  When it came to the other social media sites, when I searched my name, nobody else came up, the algorithm told me it could not find anyone who matched my search.  My lack of usage of social media was demonstrated when I tried to search myself.
            When doing random searches of myself on Google I found even less information about myself than when I tried to go the social media tract.  I was able to find two images of myself that was pulled from my Facebook account, but other than that it is like I do not exist on the internet.  The algorithm behind Google thought I kept misspelling Chuck Klosterman and wanted to display him every time I tried to search for myself.  The middle aged writer appears to have a lot more notoriety in the online world than I do and it felt as if the computer was trying to make me know he was a more popular internet sensation than I am. 
            After finding out I did not have much of a presence on the internet several different thoughts popped into my head right away.  The first was am I missing out on anything by not being on the internet as much as my peers are.  Do they get much of a benefit from having the account that is hooked up to the vast knowledge of the internet?  I came to the conclusion though that I am probably not missing out on much.  I have seen different social media accounts that my friends have and I am never impressed by what it has to show them.  More often than not, all the information on it is useless information that is more of a distraction than anything else; it is nothing that I would find valuable and would just eat away at the already limited supply of time I already have. 

            The next thought I had when I realized I was not much of a presence on the internet is that a future employer, or anyone else for that matter, would not be able to find out much about me.  No one would be able to get a detailed pre-conceived notion about me, whether it would be good or bad.  I enjoy the fact that I will be able to make a majority of the first impression for my future acquaintances myself and not through the often misunderstood information online.  So while trying to research myself, I realized even though I am happy with the amount of information on the internet about me, there is always more I could do to make sure nobody is able to get a preconceived notion about myself from the information they might happen to find.