The Fairest One of All?

Remember Vanity Smurf? His trademark was that largish pink flower that adorned his requisite white cap. Well, he was my favorite Smurf when I was a kid. Unlike the cartoon character, I don’t harbor the need to keep within a close proximity to mirrors, but I do indulge in some rather vain behaviors from time to time. Like other artists, composers are typically a little more self-centered than, say, Montessori schoolteachers. So, my composer colleagues, in honor of our little blue friend Vanity Smurf, I present to you a refresher course in cyber vanity. And I’ll subtitle this mini-seminar: How to keep tabs on your place in the pecking order.

Don’t be shy now, because I know you’ve Googled your own name before. I certainly indulge my own narcissism. In fact, I have a distinct advantage when it comes to these so-termed vanity searches given the fact that I’m the only person on the planet named Randy Nordschow. Hmm, let’s see here, throw my name inside quotes and…736 hits on Google. Not bad. It seems as though I exist, or at least my name is taking up a couple bytes on servers scattered across the globe. Now then, if you intend to equate your self-worth by factoring the number of search hits your name catches, here’s a tip: try a MSN BETA Search. Whoa, 2,226 hits. Ah, now that feels better. But why bother with these vanity searches at all when there’s Google Alerts? Now you can get all the juicy bits about your online-self delivered directly to your inbox, as they happen. But if all you are really after is the gossip and dirt, try Google’s Blog Search.

If all this just reminds you of playground behavior, let me assure you that it is. It’s fun. I don’t care much what other people think about me, but my inner hypocrite sure likes knowing exactly what others are saying about me. Granted, using the Internet as your mirror is a little bit skewed, like those funhouse fixtures. Of course whatever reflection you choose to see in your computer screen is really just as fuzzy as Plato’s cave shadows. So, what are you up to today in your digital cave?

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