For one thing, if any of my current/former students tried to friend me, I'm not sure if I would be willing to accept their requests. Either they might find something on my Facebook page that would get me in trouble, or they might see how boring my life really is and say, "Wow. Now that's just sad. All she needs now are a bunch of cats and some wool sweaters," or "She always seemed like a nerd, but this just confirms it."
I didn't go to my high school reunion, because a) I wasn't really excited about seeing the people who made fun of me on a regular basis, a few of whom thought it was hilarious when they made me cry; b) I don't really want any of them to see me until I make a bunch of money, drop another dress size, or marry someone really handsome (which I will totally rub in the faces of all the people who ridiculed me for not having a boyfriend in high school, so THERE!); c) I thought I might revert back to the person I was when I was a teenager, and I like the person that I am now better, even though I still like listening to pop music that makes everyone else cringe. (Except for Justin Bieber, because even I have to draw the line somewhere.)
So I rely on Google to find out what everyone else has been doing. Here are a few things that I found out:
I found out that one of my classmates from high school did an independent film where he goes around half-naked in several of the scenes (though it wasn't a porno).
Several of my classmates are still living in the same town that we all grew up in.
One guy was arrested, though I'm not sure if it's the same guy I was friends with. The article I read described someone with the exact same name and same age, and he lived in the same area that the guy supposedly moved to.
I went to summer camp when I was fourteen, and there was a boy there my age that I had a crush on. We wrote letters to each other after camp, because we lived in different towns. I found his obituary through Google. He died young, in his twenties. I still have the letters that he wrote to me, and now I'll always keep them.
Several of the girls that I went to high school with now have children of their own, some of whom are going to the same schools that we went to.
There was a guy that I had a crush on in college who saw me make a fool of myself at least eight different times (because I also have this irritating ability to say stupid things, fall down, and wear weird outfits that look okay when I try them on in the store but end up making me look like I just graduated from clown college when I go out in public). He's married now, to a woman who looks like she could be a model and probably never trips over herself.
I also Googled myself, just out of curiosity. I found an article that I wrote for the college newspaper when I was an undergrad. I found my name in the listings of faculty members for two of the schools where I worked as a part-time instructor. I also found online reviews of myself on those despicable Rate Your Professor websites, which were obviously created by students who know nothing about teaching (if they spent even just one week as teachers, they'd take those sites down because then they'd know just how difficult teaching is and wouldn't create sites that let students bash their teachers). I did find a couple bad reviews about me, but I found a couple good ones too. I only visited the site once, though. Why give them more traffic anyway?
Googling myself and all those people made me realize how much has changed over the years, and how much my own life has changed. Despite all the information that Google can provide, I'm not sure if I would recognize most of those people if we passed each other on the street. I wonder if they would recognize me.
What about you? Have you ever Googled yourself or people that you used to know? What kinds of things would you not want people to know if they Googled you? What kinds of things would you want people to know if they Googled you?