Tracking Myself Down: The Other Side of Egosurfing

Yesterday, having been encumbered by ennui, I yahoo-ed my name to find out whether or not I matter as a netizen. So I found my moniker on dozens of websites, most of it were poetry blogs, my own blogs, my Iyas fellows’ blogs, and online newspaper articles.  Of course, seeing my name mentioned on these sites somehow feeds a dish to my ego.  In the first place, what I did is coined egosurfing (and specifically, in my case, egoyahooing.)  According to wikipedia, “it is the practice of searching for one’s own given name, surname, pseudonym, or screen name on a popular search engine, to see what results appear.”

While browsing through these sites, I stumbled upon this strange-sounding page with an article I could barely understand.  If not for my name typed boldface, I would never dare click the site.  But then, agogness compelled me to click the link.  I was led to a Vietnamese language and literature webpage Khoa Van Hoc Va Ngon Ngu (Google translation: Science, Literature and Language), and apparently, the articles are written in Vietnamese. Good thing, Google Chrome automatically translated the site in English. Verbatimly though, since the syntax was altered, and as I read, my surname appeared first and the title of my mini-paper was changed too (at least the arrangement of words).

 When I saw my name listed on the bibliography, I got thrilled that I had to scan the whole article just to find if my name and the passage were indeed mentioned. And voila! I was like, “is this even real?” I mean, I’ve been doing research and I keep on asking what it feels like for an author to be cited on a research paper.  I couldn’t even explain. I know this might seem an ordinary thing, but for me, it means the whole world. Not for pride and self-vanity, but the joy of sharing a bit of knowledge I have to the world is something that I aim for.  And yesterday, I discovered that my mini-paper which I failed to present during a lecture two years ago, found its way through a language and literature webpage.  Despite the brief passage taken from my paper, still, it made me realize that sometimes, not getting what we wanted can be an aweome stroke of luck.

What’s wrong with egosurfing?  Nothing, actually. In this age of virtual reality, we tend to live two lives.  And when we think that we just exist in this seemingly palpable environment, and at times when we question ourselves, “what are we here for?”, the answers can come to us through search engines.


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