Friday, October 30, 2009

Persona Non Grata

Over the summer, after seeing Julie and Julia, I was inspired to start a blog, as I'm sure many people who saw the movie were. Especially since nowadays a blog is apparently a surefire way to a book and movie deal. Well, that blog died after one entry, which clearly will not get publishers knocking down my door, so I decided to try again.

Truthfully, this is my third attempt at a blog. The first was the work of an angsty 9th grader, who blogged way too much about her friends and tried to be cool and mysterious. Needless to say, it's not something I want to look at ever again.

But I am a person made to blog. I love blogs. I refuse to tell you how many I read on a semi-regular basis, but I'm sure you can tell it's a lot, just from that statement. I'm an intensely curious person, and I love that you can find out so much about anything and anyone from a blog. Plus, I already think in blog entries. Seriously, I think almost entirely in grammatically correct, full paragraphs, which probably doesn't come as a huge shock to anyone who knows me (nor will the fact that most of my blog entries will probably be annoying long). And ever since I started reading Chuck Klosterman in high school and realized how much I agree with him, I'm convinced that anyone can talk wittily and meaningfully about pop culture. I have things to say, damnit, and I'm just arrogant enough to think people will read this. Because people will read anything that's on the internet, right?

Which brings me to the real reason I'm here. Apparently, I am not on the internet. The MIT Museum has a website called Personas which is supposed to show you "how the internet sees you." Basically you put in your name (or someone else's name), the website searches for mentions of that name on the internet, and breaks all those mentions down into categories like "education," "news," and "religious" to create the persona. When I put in my name, however, they claimed there were "no digital traces" of me, or anyone else with my name. Thinking it may be a glitch in the system, I tried everyone in my family, and all of them had digital personas, even my mom, who barely knows how to use a computer. So I tried again. Still nothing.

This is clearly false. When you Google me, you get pages and pages of people with my name, some of which are me and many of which are not. We all exist on the internet. But Personas claims I don't, and everyone knows you're not a real person nowadays if you're not on the internet. And so here I am, on the internet. Let's just hope this persona works for me...

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