There are few online past-times more narcissistic that Googling yourself. It’s the sort of thing everyone does, but no-one admits.
Until now, that is. According to BusinessWeek, a Pew internet survey of more than 1000 US internet users managed to pursuade 47% to admit to looking up information about themselves on Google, up from 22% in 2002.
Mary Madden, a Pew researcher, said the increase in self-Googling could be explained by the explosion in personal information that is now available online thanks to the rise of blogging and social networking sites.
“It’s still the case that there’s a big chunk of internet users who have never done this simple act of plugging their name with search engines,” Madden told BusinessWeek. “Certainly awareness has increased, but I don’t know it’s necessarily kept pace with the amount of content we post about ourselves or what others post about us.”
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People under 50 and those with more education and income were more likely to self-Google, in some cases because their jobs require them to maintain information about themselves online.
Most people said they had self-Googled only once or twice, which is surprising because most liked what they found – only 4% of internet users said they had been embarrassed by what they found about themselves online.