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Monday, July 9

Googling Yourself

I seem to have had some occasional adventures in self-googling. There's definitely a chance to learn something to your disadvantage if you search the internet for yourself and find yourself. With a name as unique as "Ashley Frieze", I can be sure that most Google hits tend to relate to this version of me, rather than some other Ashley Frieze. This is only going to exacerbate my occasional bouts of... what...? Narcissism? Insecurity? I don't know.

Now. Here's a contentious suggestion. Rather than hang my head in shame at my apparent over-blown self-interest. Let me now staunchly defend the idea of self-googling. I have some reasons.
  • These days people do Google each other: new girlfriends Google their new boyfriends and vice versa, families Google their prospective new son-in-laws etc - it's wise to know what they will learn about you
  • If your work colleagues, or prospective employers Google you, what will they find? Will it affect your career?
  • As a performer, what would a "fan" or, more importantly, a prospective promoter find out about my act?
All of these things come down to the same basic idea. What's written about you on the internet is increasingly becoming a part of your public image. In today's media-obsessed society, even non-celebrities are starting to get researched and opinions are being formed on them in the same way as celebrities have to put up with. It's the nature of modern media.

There are a few things written about me on the internet which I find misrepresentative. Largely, though, the person writing the most about me is me. This blog is by far the biggest risk to my public image... or maybe it's my biggest asset. It's frank and detailed, which is probably a virtue. It may be its undoing, since I may sometimes prioritise the writing of words over conveying what little there is of interest to say.

I don't see myself as a self-obsessed individual - certainly no more self-obsessed than average. I have pride. I want people to like me. Ultimately, though, I just do what I do and hope that nobody hates me with too much conviction. Some of what I set out to do is intended to foster a reaction in others, which is probably where some of my insecurities turn into "what are they saying", since I want to feel like I've succeeded in bringing entertainment to strangers, rather than succeeded in making myself look like a total tosspot.

Still, if you're good at doing something, you should do it. So, if I'm a good total tosspot, then I should make the most of it. That's one question Google can't answer.


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