In class we were given an assignment where we would have to google ourselves and analyze the results. Before starting the assignment, I had a few assumptions as to what my results may contain. There is a hockey player in the NHL named Jordan Leopold so I assumed that most of the results would be about him. Because of this I decided to conduct a few searches with my name included to see how the results would vary. The results of the various searches were about what I expected. Every search result for “Jordan Leopold” was about the hockey player’s trade to the Minnesota Wild in 2015 and the touching letter that his daughter wrote asking for her father to be traded back home to Minnesota. When I add “Oradell” to the search (my home town), the results were mostly for NHL merchandise, with my parents’ names emerging a couple of times. I was starting to become desperate and conducted two more searches (“Jordan Leopold Baseball” and “Jordan Leopold Muhlenberg”) in hopes to find something about me. Unfortunately, I was out of luck. As strange as this may sound, there was a former student at Muhlenberg named Jordan Leopold who played baseball and graduated in 2016. All of the results contained articles about him. The only two results I found when searching my name was when I added “River Dell High School” at the end and two YouTube videos came up. One was the baseball video I created in June; the other was the college decision video that my high school posted with nearly the entire graduating class appearing in the video. My social media doesn’t even come up unless I type in my exact handle.
What does all of this mean? While I was disappointed to learn that I may not be an online celebrity, this assignment helped me see the bigger picture and why it is important to have a digital identity. While is doesn’t help that I share my name with a professional athlete, I sorely lack a digital identity on the web. With the internet emerging over the past several years, employers are often searching the names of the potential candidates online before considering them for a position. While a potential employer may not have met you yet, they may already have their first impression and having a solid digital face can allow them to have a positive one. In five years, I want to build and online profile in such a way where people who have never met me can search for me and feel like have learned about the type of person I am. I want a potential employer to search for my name and learn about the values that I hold closest to me such as loyalty, honesty, and always doing the right thing. I want an employer (or anyone else) to discover the competitive drive inside me to achieve anything I put my mind to. My passion for baseball must be shown somewhere, otherwise, any profile about me would be incomplete. When I search Curtis Granderson’s name, in addition to the baseball related articles that come up, other articles come up about his Grand Kids Foundation where he “teaches kids the power or education, fitness & nutrition”. Curtis is not only a role model on the field but sets a good example off the field. He is a well spoken leader and is very involved in the community. In addition to somebody learning that I graduated Muhlenberg with a degree or that I found a profession in a certain field, I would like other articles to come up about how I have contributed to a community. This can inspire me to become more involved at Muhlenberg and in the Allentown and Oradell communities. I have learned that first impressions matter and while being on top of my game in person is critical, having a digital identity to serve as a secondary resume is key in reflecting who I am as a person. I learned that there are several steps that I can and should take to become more prominent online so that when somebody searches my name, they will find my identity.