I’m a narcissist a heart. Mirrors are a constant source of distraction, but nothing quite catches my attention like that Google search bar. I love searching my own name on the Internet. And according to a new poll, I’m in very sizable company.
A newly released poll from the Pew Research Center Internet & American Life Project shows 56% of Internet users admit to looking up information about themselves using a search engine. Those aged 18 to 29 are disproportionately more likely to self-search (64%), as are those with college degrees (68%) and people making more than $75,000 annually (66%). Men (58%) were slightly more likely to search for their own name as women (54%).
The percentage of internet users who self-search is up dramatically since Pew first started tracking them in 2001. Back then, less than a quarter of Internet users searched for their own names.
Of course, our egos drive some of that traffic to Google. But beyond self-satisfaction, performing a search for your own name to monitor your online reputation is actually good practice. Unflattering search results can't always be removed, but their impact can typically be minimized.