A few days ago, I was following a thread that the lovely Amy Bellgardt from MomSpark had posted on Facebook. She had apparently done a Google search of her name (which, trust me, is something anyone online should do from time to time) and looked at the images that were returned. She shared with us one particular photo that was, well, shall we say, unflattering? But it was unflattering to the point of humorous.
Never one to miss out on an opportunity to laugh, or more importantly, laugh at myself, I decided to participate and also shared with her one of the most ridiculous photos that I found.
It’s small and I know well and good that this came from one of my episodes of Show & Tell Tuesday. But if you didn’t know that, you’d think I was holding a dog corpse.
So I decided to explore and really take a look at how I appear online, through the lens of Google images.
The most obvious photos are the ones that appear first. It’s photos of ME, ME, ME! I’ve used a lot of avatars over the years (in fact, I’m due for a new one but I’m waiting until my hair is more predictable) and while I feel like my style doesn’t change much, I guess it kinda does.
But yeah. You’d expect to find these photos. What I didn’t expect was finding a few things from events I attended. Like this one, taken at Type-A Parent conference in 2013 when I was on a panel about cause blogging. This lovely photo was taken by Beth at The Angel Forever (we actually had a very lovely chat after the panel). So thanks, Beth!
And then I got quoted when I was on a Disqus panel about building community at BlogHer13 in Chicago.
At this point, I’m feeling pretty good about my online image (except for the lookalike dog corpse). And then I run into photos like this.
It’s the Julia Louis Dreyfus. How are we related? Why does she show up? I can only guess it’s because I met her a few years ago when I was out to dinner for my birthday in downtown Baltimore. She happened to sit at the table right next to mine and I could not. stop. obsessing over her. So I calmly waited until dinner was over but before the dessert course and I said hello, told her it was my birthday, and politely asked for a photo. She obliged, I posted it on Instagram, end of story.
Until the Baltimore Sun called and asked if they could run my photo and wondered what she had for dinner. And suddenly I became a gossip columnist. I’m sure JLD hates me now for invading her privacy and then blabbing to the newspaper but now we’re forever connected.
My Jennifer Aniston story is much less interesting. I can only imagine that she shows up because I’ve probably talked about that infamous date many years ago. July 29, 2000. It’s the day that she married Brad Pitt. How do I remember that exact date? Because it’s the day I married my husband, Sean, and I’ll never forgive the Pitts for upstaging me on my wedding day. I will say, though, that I made a prediction to my husband that our marriage would last longer than theirs. As it turns out, I was right.
But the fun stuff comes when you look at the random photos and try to link them back to you. I ended up finding things I had forgotten about or things that I never even knew were written.
Like the time I went to BlogHer Writers and met my online friend Stella for the first time. In true NYC fashion, she took me to a hot restaurant (a Japanese ramen place called Ippudo) that was so crowded I don’t think we ate until 11pm, which I guess is not an unheard of time for dinner for New Yorkers.
Or the time I sat in the shoe department of Kohl’s and did a phone interview with a reporter who did a story on aging pets. I had completely forgotten about it until this photo showed up and I wondered how in the world I could be linked to an old dog I’ve never met.
But my very favorite happens to be this image that showed up.
I’ve never posted this image before so how did it get linked to me? Apparently, I was quoted in a German article called “Die Rache der Mommy-Blogger” which, when translated by Google means “Revenge of the Mommy Blogger.” The rest of the article, when translated, is actually pretty funny, mainly because the translation is so poor.
But the final image that really had me scratching my head was this one.
I am not an Obama fan, by any stretch of the imagination (I guess that explains why I’ve never been invited to any of the White House blogging events). So how I could possibly be linked to him?
It turns out that I shared a video of Megyn Kelley’s takedown of Obama on Google+. It was a heated rant about the numerous scandals that were hitting the White House at the same time and Obama’s failure to accurately address any of them. It has nothing to do with me and I’ve shared lots of stuff of Google+ but for some reason, this one ranked highly.
I guess Google does know a thing or two about.
Are you brave enough to search Google images for your name? I’d love to see some of yours in the comments below.