Walk The Line

The Name of the Game

Posted on: May 15, 2007

What’s your ‘googleability’ quotient? No clue? Well, then check it out right away because if the world’s premier search engine can’t trace you in less than a second, then you are a certified also-ran; or, or so parents of newborns in the US feel. News reports say that ‘googleability’ is now a primary baby-naming requirement, which means that parents want names for their children which will work well for web searches: an unusual name that might figure among the first top 10 search results.

Obsessive and disturbing, many would say, but for the majority of  parents this is one more way of making sure that their children get a headstart in life: more and more executive recruiters use web searches to check backgrounds of candidates seeking jobs. So, it does make sense to give a child a web-attractive name; but, what happens if the child becomes well known, but not for the right reasons? Or, has a namesake with not a glorious track record?

Either way, the ‘googlification’ of names also means that we are on verge of losing something precious: our privacy. Thanks to tech-savvy moms and dads, who are themselves into ‘egosurfing’, children of tomorrow don’t have much choice: their book of life is up there open for all to see. And, what happens to our dear old aunts and uncles who spend hours trying to search for names for our progeny? Guess they will now have to get on to the net and play the name game online.

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