Everything Is On the Internets

CLH just sent a virtual hug to his brother via Facebook. I don’t know why that bothers me so much, but it does a little.

We just found a picture of a friend of ours featured prominently (and nakedly) on Wikipedia under the term “Naked Cyclists”. I am guilty of looking at pictures of old classmates online like I would look at a car crash: one eye closed to shut out the horror, the other open in morbid curiosity. People have found me, too. I’m creeped out by it every time. “Hey, is this the same Lauren that did so and so back in ’89?” Eeeeeeesh. It’s weird being found. I never think anyone’s looking for me. But they are. Think about how often people are googling your name. Lots of people have googled me and it’s weird that I can be found so easily. And with such a random attachment of stuff to my name. I write poetry. I sometimes update this blog. There’s another one of me in California, somewhere, and she’s an actress. Here are other things that you won’t know by googling me, but should, if you are to really know me:

I like popcorn. A lot. I make it the old fashioned way: in a pot with oil.
I have completed several jigsaw puzzles with over 3,000 pieces.
I like to make art out of junk.

I have a client whose employees google just about every customer who contacts them. Just out of curiosity, they say. Y’know, for fun. There’s a link to almost all of us out there somewhere. Isn’t that odd? Isn’t it weird that someone knows your shopping habits? Can track your credit card purchases? Knows your cell phone calls? I’m not talking in my conspiracy theorist voice, either. I’m talking in my David Byrne, “Isn’t Technology Weird and Wonderful?” voice. There’s a trail of ones and zeros behind all of us, stuck like toilet paper to the soles of our shoes and we track that stuff around everywhere we go and we can’t shake it loose. Some program, right now, is plotting to put ads along the side of my email homepage based on the words on my screen. Some program, right now, is pumping out hundreds of junk emails to be sent to me because I am an identity that is a series of numbers and letters that most of the world can access if they just put those numbers and letters together in the right sequence. Who was I before I had a data trail?