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Thursday, October 23, 2008

Do you Google?

Have you ever googled yourself? Have you ever googled an old friend that you lost touch with?

Sometimes as the holidays draw near I get to reminiscing and have a yearning to reach out to those in my life who I’ve lost track of. Friends who I've lost touch with who still live near my hometown, a whole state away. I hadn’t seen or spoken with this friend in almost 10 years. I didn’t really expect to find anything at all. This friend was never computer savvy, so I didn’t expect to find a myspace or facebook address.

I found out that her father is still living. He works as a security guard and for some reason the state that he lives in publishes on the internet the names and employer of persons holding a particular type of license. I was very happy to find out he’s doing ok. He must be if he is still able to work. The last we were in touch he was having some serious health problems.

Now for the part that shames me. I want to wash my eyes out with soap for viewing this. Something came up under my old friend’s name. It seems she defaulted on a credit card and that company sued to garnish her wages. The state she lives in posts all the gory details of small claims court activities for anyone to see. It posts her current address and current employer. Both were the same as the last time I was in touch with her, so I know this is her information.

Who would have thought?

My friend was always fastidious about paying her bills and although I wasn’t privy to her finances, she had to have immaculate credit to buy a home on her own 15 years ago. Something had to have happened for her to have a credit card go to small claims. Perhaps she was a victim of identity theft? I don’t know.

I googled her employer’s website, then searched for her name. A newsletter from over a year ago came up with her photo on it.

Ok, now my internet skills are starting to creep even me out.

What will I do with this information? Nothing. Will I contact her? Doubtful.

Have you Googled yourself? Don't you want to know what Google has on you?

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