Sunday, August 23, 2009

alter egos

You hear it in the media and in guidance for career development: Google your own name to see what’s posted on the World Wide Web about you.

OK, so I’ve tried that. What I have found is that I have many alter egos that all seem to be quite accomplished in fascinating occupations. Every now and then, I will Google up my name to see what we’re up to now.

Many Lisa Smiths are artists in various media: lighting, ceramics, photography, furniture. There is an ultra-endurance marathon trainer and a Clinical psychologist. Our credentials include patents, magazine covers, New York Times articles and at least one Ph.D. We live around the world.

There is a fictitious urban legend circulating about the untimely demise – and even ghosts - of one. Another has experienced a heart-wrenching loss.

It should be no surprise that Lisa Smith is found doing so many things, when it is one of the most common names in English-speaking countries. Recently an article counted up the Lisas, the Smiths and Lisa Smiths on Facebook alone. Each name made the most frequently-found list in its category:

Perhaps it’s partly due to the fact that I never had any biological siblings that I feel a kinship with these strangers of the same name…in a way, living vicariously through them. Although I am personally most drawn to creative pursuits like my artistic adopted sisters, at one time I aspired to a career in psychology. The closest I’ve been to being an endurance or marathon trainer was riding in the 2003 MS150 biking fundraiser. I’m still riding the same 1980 Schwinn 10-speed, but not to such high levels of attainment.

I’m happy that only one Google link turned out to actually be me – I prefer to live “under the radar” of the internet information-seeking world. That is, except for where I am making modest efforts to claim some fame in my own right.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

mixed feelings

A few years ago I started "looking" for friends from high school or college that I hadn't talked to in years. People I shared lots of fun memories with. Largely due to the advancement of internet technology and the flattening world, I've found many.

Some of us are on Facebook. My searches have focused there in an effort to expand my Friends list and stay in touch. Tonight I was looking there for a friend that I just reconnected with last year. It was so great to correspond and exchange some memories on a blog I set up just for that purpose.

Well, the search came up with a tribute, it couldn't be. She was gone in April. It was really disappointing to realize the loss.

I'm glad she knew we were thinking of her and cared enough to find her.