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kismetcapitan

do adcomms read this forum/your Facebook/etc?

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this waiting period is introducing not only new levels of anxiety never before experienced, but a new sensation I had previously relegated only to the ranks of the schizophrenic - paranoia. do adcomms browse these forums? do they go check out your Facebook (I had a stream of odd people I didn't know add me as a friend around deadline time, and a couple of them happen to be...students where I'm applying to!).

my sister is an adcomm at U Mich in one of their most competitive departments, and says she gets irritated when an SOP is too long or there are too many additional letters, essays, research papers, etc. (she reviews every word but her opinion is that such an applicant is selfishly "stealing" time away from other applicants - this is for masters programs btw, PhD candidates get lengthy scrutinizing)....so in her case clearly not, but then again, they're reviewing thousands upon thousands of applications. But other schools and programs may see only a couple hundred applications....and it's quite easy to google up someone's name, ID, etc....

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Dear God, I hope they don't!! Not that I have anything up that would be bad...but still!! A panopticonic application sounds like a scary dystopic movie.

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Educated guess:

This forum? Absolutely not.

Facebook? Quite possibly if you're short-listed, especially if they're trying to gauge your interest/other options. Otherwise, no.

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the key aspect of a panopticon is not that they are watching, but that you THINK that they are watching you. All the time. In your head. Jeebus, I **am** developing paranoia!

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the key aspect of a panopticon is not that they are watching, but that you THINK that they are watching you. All the time. In your head. Jeebus, I **am** developing paranoia!

Which means that the fact that this thread exists means we're already in a scary dystopic movie? Crap.

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I wondered about this, too! So I googled it. Here is what I came up with (specifically on whether adcoms google applicants):

http://leiterreports.typepad.com/blog/2010/01/do-phd-admissions-committees-google-applicants.html

I think the best quote is, "I think the answer's obvious: they're just not that into you."

That's a relief! But there is one faculty commenter who says she does google applicants.

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Just put your Facebook on Private just in case and before about who you accept as a friend.

I always worry that my name will show up in an inappropriate group that I joined, and they will be like denied. So I had to leave groups and pages that might be offensive, watch what I post on people's wall, and limit my search-ability just incase.

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I don't know about this forum or facebook (I'm pretty unsearchable on their anyway), but I do know that after I emailed people asking if they were taking students, there was some unusual activity on my advisor's lab page (he has a system that tracks where the IP address originated from)--and if you google {my name}+{my university} the lab page is the first thing that comes up--I emailed people at Yale, and strangely enough that same day there were visitors from New Haven. I don't think it's coincidence.

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If you google my name only, then you'll come across:

-linkedin

-facebook (private)

-twitter (private, I don't use it though)

-research lab (where I worked for a year)

-a bunch of tournament pages for badminton (Nationals, State, etc.)

There's more, but that's just the first 2 pages.

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If you Google my name, not on the top of the results, but somewhere in there, is the results of a half-marathon that I ran and during which... got completely lost. At one point I gave up, decided I was done wandering around town with a number pinned to my shirt. Then saw a boy - an official runner as well - who had been separated from his group and was equally as confused as I was. We somehow managed to find our way back as he sang James Brown tunes and often chimed in, "We are soooo late". We ended up approaching the finish line from an intersecting, but wrong, street. I decided to wait and cheer for my full-marathon running friends before the finish line and ended up only crossing much later, more symbolically than anything. Which is why... if you Google my name... it will appear as if it took me six and a half hours to run 13 miles. Take that, adcomm!

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People who have common names are lucky.

I haven't met anyone else with my last name other than my relatives. I did find a company that has the same name as my last name, but no idea how they came up with that.

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I have a common name and it can be good and bad. If you googled my name you'd get at least 2 dozen prominent/semi-prominent people who have the same name as me ranging from a CEO to professors to grad students to bloggers to a 6th century prince. It's not all together surprising that I don't show in the first two pages. Although this makes it fairly difficult to find the actual me, it can also give the impression that I'm insignificant/have low impact to which a potential employer may say "why would we hire a guy that hasn't done anything worth mentioning". The whole point of a professor/researcher having a website is to have it serve as a public resume that lists all of the stuff that they've done, I'd imagine that you want people to look at it rather than trying to dig you up on facebook.

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Strangely, if you google my name, the top three pages are mostly full of a couple different high school/college athletes--different girls in different sports in different states, all athletes though. Also a dietician. I think one or two of the results are actually me...I would so much rather share a name with 6th century royalty!

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Ha! If you google my name you get three or four short stories I published when I was like 18 (22 now).. And a ton of links to mail-order-bride type sites! ..Ah, the beauty of having a really common Russian name. :rolleyes:

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Unique name, interesting past.

Before I applied anywhere I did a little online presence management. But you'll still find articles and books I've written over the years, pics of me doing the slam poetry thing, some really contentious letters to the editor. So, me being a politically active, verbose hell-raiser won't be a secret but I like to think they got that in my SOP anyways. :)

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My last name is ridiculously common, so a Google search of my full name won't get anyone anywhere. (People that share my name run the gamut of professions from state legislator to internet preacher.) Makes me very difficult to search on Facebook as well, without having mutual friends. I don't think much interesting turns up if you include the name of my school, either. It's not like I have anything to hide, though. B)

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I am fairly certain that the prospective advisors that I wrote to before applying googled me. I have a unique name, and I am registered on academia.edu, which provides a service that allows you to track who googled your name, and where they are from. For majority of the people whom I contacted, I always ended up with a few searches from those areas just a day or so before the prospective advisors reply to my e-mail.

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I can see how it might not be good to have people able to Google you during the admissions process. On the other hand, once you're trying to make a name for yourself, it is nice for people to be able to find you.

I have a fairly common name. At least two people who share my name are politically active in various causes. Thus, if you try to Google me you might find a reference to the actual UnlikelyGrad on page 12 or 13. Even when I was active in speaking at events nationwide I never did better than page 3. Of course during this time I was actively trying to increase my web presence so that people could find me and get me to speak--didn't work too well!

I feel even sorrier for the guy I worked for before grad school--he once lamented that there were 9 million other people with his name, and given his name (only slightly less common than 'John Smith') I think he may actually be right.

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I googled my name and it came up first on facebook, but it wasn't me, it was this really filthy picture on facebook. But it was someone with the same name as me, and now if any prospective professors google me, they're going to think I'm this major skank who has no sense of decency about what types of pictures to post on the internet. I wish they could see the town to make sure it doesn't match mine, because I don't have a facebook account so I can't see it myself. I'm rambling I know but this makes me positively miserable.

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I googled my name and it came up first on facebook, but it wasn't me, it was this really filthy picture on facebook. But it was someone with the same name as me, and now if any prospective professors google me, they're going to think I'm this major skank who has no sense of decency about what types of pictures to post on the internet. I wish they could see the town to make sure it doesn't match mine, because I don't have a facebook account so I can't see it myself. I'm rambling I know but this makes me positively miserable.

Oh? Can you post that picture you found? :P

My facebook picture is what my profile picture here is, except bigger.

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Oh? Can you post that picture you found? :P

My facebook picture is what my profile picture here is, except bigger.

I was going to ask, but figured I'd let someone else do it :P

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Googling my name brings up my Twitter account...even though that account isn't affiliated with my last name! Both weird and annoying. I don't write anything particularly inflammatory (unless "I feel like going bowling" counts as inflammatory. Maybe to fans of petanque or boules), but I'd still rather be anonymous. I don't know how to fix it; I think I probably had my last name up initially and then removed it. Damn the Google cache!

And my last name is uncommon, so I'm the only person that comes up. I can't even pretend it's not me...

Edited by Venetia

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