FSP's post yesterday asked about googling applicants (either for potential colleagues or students). Does the info you find from googling help to select a student/employee?
I could see using google to confirm someone's credentials - did they actually attend university X? But extracurricular activities would have zero influence on any decision. I was burned in high school by not being appropriately social (I was passed over for all of those prestigous prizes even though I had better academics and far more significant volunteer/leadership positions), and I make it a point not to judge someone based on perceived ability to fit in.
Some people are more...outgoing online than others. I have a relatively low profile in social media - maybe I'm overly cautious, but I have friends and family with wildly diverging lifestyles/political beliefs, and I'm friends with several teenagers who consider me to be "auntie shorty". So I tend not to express anything controversial. My sweetie, however, loves to engage in arguments online and has a fair amount of work downtime in which to post, and so has a much more... assertive online personality. In real life, neither of us is more professional than the other.
I have a relatively common name, so if you google my name, you'll get a huge list of different women who are clearly not me. In order to find me, you need to add a few specific details (say, the subject of my thesis and article), and therefore you will be less likely to find anything, ah, incriminating. That suits me just fine.
Thursday, January 19, 2012
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