Facebook and Google seem to know me better than some of my friends. I find this to be a bit concerning. After looing at the data that I collected from my Google profile, I found that it has concluded that I am a female, between the ages of 18 and 24 and that I speak English, all of which are true. It was fascinating to me that Google could make these conclusions without me providing them directly. Clearly, my search history of Google reflects this simple profile of myself. The Interest area on my Google profile appears to be pretty reflective of my behavior. There was one interest that did not seem to fit, which was Golf. The only thing that I can think as reasoning for this assumption of an interest is someone else searching Google on my computer, which does happen quite a bit. Regardless of the single unrelated Interest in my Google profile, everything else seems to be reflective of whom I am. This profile did not intimidate me nearly as much as the Facebook profile.
I have always tried to keep my Facebook activity to a limited amount by not providing too much information about myself or investing in too much time online. However, after looking at the data that Facebook has about me, my efforts have not been as successful as I thought them to be. Facebook has all of my activity logged from the day that I created my account. This massive amount of information is interesting to see in one space. I found it to have similarities to a very detailed diary. It was entertaining to look at but I found it to also be embarrassing. Facebook’s data included information that I hope to sometimes forget, as I was looking at data from my adolescent years. I then wonder if it is even possible to erase the information that Facebook already has. I can see how doing so could have positive and negative aspects for different situations. Because Facebook has been used in legal investigations, its data can be useful to some. However, as a user, I feel a little unsettled of the massive amount of information they hold, as it could be used against me someday.
After viewing my digital media presence, I realize how much information is available to the public that I did not originally anticipate. Doing this exercise helped me conclude that it is very simple to create a profile of yourself on the web even if you are not intending to. When I created a Facebook account, I did not even think twice about the consequences of what I was doing. However, today, I have to think about how my Facebook profile or Google searches will provide a profile of myself, essentially with or without my consent. The web holds a massive amount of power that is easy to overlook when you are simply posting a video to your Facebook page.