Opinions: Politically Correct?: Advertising my name

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Casey Walker

The generation of tech-savvy teenagers is throwing themselves to the external world like an advertisement for the newest iPhone filled with our flashy interests and newest pictures from the weekend.

Last Sunday I attended Loufest, St. Louis’s music festival in Forest Park.

After the band Cults’ set was over I was standing in the festivals main field, made soggy by the rain. A senior from Marquette approached me. She looked at me and asked if I was Casey Walker. I said yes, and she proceeded to tell me that she had “facebook stalked me a lot,” so she knew I went to a lot of concerts.

I was flattered but also a little weirded out. By being on facebook my life is shared with the public. I know this. But I’ve never been approached and personally told I’ve been facebook stalked.

I feel like my life has become a billboard for an over advertised fast food company like McDonalds . I’m publicizing myself through my facebook, my blog and Twitter.

I don’t keep any of my social networks private because I’m comfortable enough with what I post that I don’t care who it reaches. But it never occurred to me that it actually reached a larger audience than just my friends list.

Does my name, Casey Walker, float around social networks like a flyer for a lost cat?

Often, when I’m talking to my friends, they throw me a name and ask me if I know them. I awkwardly reply “kind of…” because I know them through facebook and see their pictures, but I don’t really know them. I know of them.

If my mind is cluttered with names of people like names of advertised brands, other people’s minds must be cluttered, too — my name included.

It used to be that people only interacted in real life and only knew someone’s name from face-to-face interactions or through friends not facebook.

My encounter on Sunday made me think about my existence on facebook. If I delete my facebook would my name still float around the Internet? Or is it just existing because my facebook exists?

I can’t decide if this marketing of my name on facebook is good or bad. I’m happy to meet and know new people through facebook, but I’m not sure if I’m confortable having my name flying around as an ad.

It could be beneficial to have your name out in cyber space. Business-centered social networks like LinkedIn are completely focused on getting a name spread across a business field as much as possible.

Having my name hung across webpages like a flimsy paper annoucemnt on a bulletin board could be really successful for business and professional purposes.

But, I’m 17 and my name on facebook isn’t getting me any further in the professional world.

Anyone from anywhere could know my name and what I do because of my actions on the Internet. I’m hurling myself into a fast-moving digital age, and my name is coming along with me.

It could be potentionally useful to have my name out in the open but having my name spread across the internet like world-renowned Apple adds will be something I have to get used to.