Say it, You've Googled someone!

By January 17, 2008

A survey released last month reveals that about half of the online adult population has looked up themselves or someone else online, up from 22 percent in 2002. The amount of information about ourselves that is available on the We

b seems not to be an issue for 60 percent of us. This very interesting study reveals that 47 percent of Internet users have searched for themselves online, 36 percent said they have searched on the Internet for a person with whom they’ve lost touch, and 9 percent have looked up information on the one they were dating. It seems that women are a bit more likely than men to research someone they are dating or someone they are about to meet. And on the other hand, more men than women have looked up friends, someone from their past or a colleague or competitor. 53 percent, for a majority under the age of 50, have looked up an acquaintance on the Web. “The increasing amount of personal information online has drawn attention among privacy advocates, who worry about how it could be used and who controls it. Most recently, they decried a new Facebook advertising program that broadcasted its users’s online purchase and other online actions to their friends and network,” wrote Ellen Lee, a San Francisco Chronicle writer. The Pew report suggested that most Internet users are not concerned about their personal information online. Among adults who have a public social-networking profile, 60 percent said that anyone who happens upon it can see, and have not felt compelled to limit it. While 38 percent have taken steps to control it, it’s been found that the same percentage restrict access to their friends. “People aren’t being super cautious about what they’re doing or presenting online,” explains Mary Maden, co-author of the report and senior research specialist with Pew. A new way in the final round of a recruiting process for employers is to search online for someone they were about to hire or work with. And 11 percent of them are doing it. Valuable recommendations from job hunters are to not post photographs or personal information that could hurt their chances with employers. The conclusions, published by Pew Internet & American Life Project, reflect how everyone is sharing always more of their lives on the Internet, and how so-called “Web 2.0 sites” such as Youtube, Facebook and Flickr are encouraging their users to post home videos, photographs and personal profiles online, including private data ranging from their favorite dates to their mobile phone number. Reminds me sadly theses stories where women find out, through Myspace, about their boyfriends cheating on them. Mathieu Ramage Media and Editorial Manager of Atelier North America   FEEDBACK For comments on this article, email us at

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