Yeah, I have had a google alert on my name.
I just removed it.
I’ve had it for two or so years, during which time I suppose I convinced myself that it was “necessary for my career” to know what people were writing about me on the internet – about my columns, my tv segments, my blogs, my interviews, my latest non-boyfriend (and on and on and on) …
But I got one today, glanced at it, deleted it and thought, “Wait … why do I even get these at all? Why do I care what anyone has to say about me?!?”
Lately, I’ve been trying to analyze what common denominators exist when I’m happiest, and one in particular stands out in my mind: I’m not paying any attention to what anyone else thinks.
For some time now, I’ve actively refused to visit websites that are negative – be them my hate sites (ha – I almost wrote “my little hate sites.” My Little Hate Site! It’s like My Little Pony – for angry, sort of sad adults!), or even websites that spew insults & judgment in others’ directions (Perez Hilton, TMZ). They’re candy for your soul – almost druglike with their high when you’re in thrall to them, but you feel like absolute crap afterwards.
(Actually, I would make the same argument about the print tabloids, gossip columns and “celebrity news” as well. They’re good for no one and add absoutely nothing of value to our lives. Yes, they’re completely addictive and I obsessively read them in airports. And yes, my job for a year was working for one of them. And yes (again), I still – very occasionally – go on tv and talk about pop culture. Just like I sometimes binge on dessert. I probably shouldn’t do either. But that’s another discussion.)
In any case, I decided that this need – the insidious, seemingly insatiable need to listen to others’ opinions about yourself – doesn’t necessarily bode well for your creative output (even if those opinions are exceedingly positive!!). In fact, it stymies it dramatically, at least for me. I’m guessing I’m not alone.
There is a time and place for feedback, certainly, but I’m not convinced a daily google alert is that place.
In fact, I’m quite convinced it’s not.
So, my friends, I’m going to bed – at a reasonable hour (for me) – happily unaware of what anyone thinks of this post. And that’s absolutely okay with me.
I hope you had a wonderful, fabulous weekend.