Zwiebel: Google yourself—everyone else is

By the time I leave Geneseo, I'll not only have a degree in English, but also in procrastination. It's an art form in itself, and I have taken great pains in perfecting it. I shouldn't be looking for ways to avoid studying, homework and preparing for my upcoming MCAT; however, I search for ways to do just that.

Admittedly, I often browse my Facebook homepage, but at times I have left the Facebook domain and wandered to Google. I started by Googling my favorite bands and upcoming concerts. Eventually, I plunged into the deep end of boredom ­- I Googled "Kelly Zwiebel." With such an unusual last name, I was not incredibly surprised when an article on the GOLD program from the Girl Scouts of Nassau County Web site appeared first. Nor was I surprised to find most of the other Web sites to be of German origin, usually dealing with onions (my last name means "onion" in German). I was ashamed of my insanity and only told my close friends. However, I am now incredibly comfortable sharing my addiction with all Lamron readers.

Why, you ask? Because if the New York Times ran a front page article entitled, "Googling Me and Finding You: Names That Match Forge a Bond" then my experience is not singular. The article, by Stephanie Rosenbloom, explains how many Americans Google their own name "because human beings are unconsciously drawn to people and things that remind us of ourselves." Although interesting, the article describes psychological statistics about where people of certain names live (Virginias are likely to move to Virginia) and how people with "B" surnames were more likely to vote for George Bush. Do I believe it? No way. The article, to me, was merely a justification that there are many other bored Americans out there. I encourage you to read the article and decide for yourself, however, I personally believe it is mere coincidence that my cousin, Virginia, moved from Ohio to Virginia. She is 7 and was not part of the decision making about moving across state lines. I doubt my aunt moved there to inflate her daughter's ego.

In the end, The New York Times inspired a new form of procrastination: Googling others' names. Before sitting down and writing this, I opened Safari and Googled some of my friends' names. I was not surprised to find many links to the Steuben Web site, as well as other links. My challenge to you is easy: Google your name and see what happens. If you have a "common" name, do not be surprised if none of the Web sites are actually talking about you. I am sure that somewhere out there in cyberland you are unique. On the flip side, those with unusual names that find something, do not let it go to your head. It just means you have a weird last name. No matter what, do not feel ashamed about Googling your name in times of severe boredom or procrastination. If The New York Times can write about it, then it must be a valuable waste of your time.

Kelly Zwiebel is a sophomore English major, and you can read all about her invaluable contributions to the Historical Committee in Williston Park at