Internet Identity And Appearance

I am currently taking a class called Engl 149, or Tech Writing for engineers. This class has, for the most part, been interesting. It has gone over how to properly present materials depending on audience and content. I feel that I have learned a few things, and overall had a good experience with the class.

But the one thing that really hit home was while showing my teacher a resume cover letter. My letter had a list of three websites, she said she would look at this one. No reason given, she just said she would look "at that pseudoweb one" which gave me mixed feelings. For one, I'm glad that this isn't two years ago where this website was full of bad jokes and angry statements towards my school's administration, but it also signals a stage which I think many of my generation are coming to, and it is biting them in the ass.

The stage I speak of is where you have to become a respectable member of society, and everything you do is now judged by two parties, your peers, and those who might wish to make you a peer. My generation has grown up with the internet, and thus everything we have done since we were children is somewhere on the internet. We were in the midsts of the Napster battles and the Kazaa arrests, we rode the internet social networking wave, leaving a trail of destroyed websites in our wake. We left our emotional dramas and teen angst on LiveJournal and Xanga, we made funny pictures and got hunted by sexual predators on MySpace, we made weird movies of our friends and put them on YouTube, and finally we put our parties and drunkenness on Facebook. A search for your name on Google shows up some interesting stuff, old pages from when you were twelve, weird antics, and your ramblings. The internet knows all.

But here is where it gets scary. When people employ you these days, it is a very common activity to Google your name. Sometimes that will come up with something neat, like your web page or resume. Other times it might be an embarrassing photo or post on some forum.

So these last few days I have been making the transition. Cleaning up my name, finding old stuff and deleting it. Adding new content which portrays me better and even signing up for new sites, meant more for those in my age group.

One of these sites is a social networking site for business professionals called LinkedIn. It provides an easy way to make connections and find out who knows who. This seems like it would be incredibly valuable for finding ways into a job, plus it's always fun to see who my parents and my friends know.

Anyway, it's been interesting, and I won't lie about the fact that this post is just one of the things I want to do to keep my site active. You can also check out the changes I made over at natwelch.com. I hope to eventually get a code portfolio going over there too, but that will come with time.

Well I'm off to bed, Hasta.