08 June 2007

Naming Memes

There's a new fad going around I call "Google Monikering," or just "Google-Mon" for short (let's see if I can get a name trend started). This is the gag of typing your name into Google or any other search engine, followed by a verb, and seeing the top results. The most common version of this is "(Your Name) is…" I've also come across "(Your Name) needs…" and "(Your Name) wants…" Usually, you send the results to your friends and urge them to try it and their results, forwarding it to more friends...thus creating an Interner "meme."

I usually don't fall in with these memes, but I will sheepishly admit that Google Monikering can be damned amusing. A few of the results won't be genuine answers that make grammatic sense—you can just ignore these. I will now torture you with my name using the standard theme:

  1. Ryan is crying while eating
  2. Ryan is hungry
  3. Ryan is saucy
  4. Ryan is cool by association
  5. Ryan is convicted
  6. Ryan is dating Jessica Biel
  7. Ryan is filthy rich
Number 4 is my clear favorite, but I wouldn't mind if Number 7 were true. Number 6 is true, and I dare you to prove otherwise. (Jessica, honey, give me a call about our weekend plans, okay?) Number 3 is actually the name of a Ryan Philippe fansite, and Number 5 is about the conviction of former Illinois Governor George Ryan of racketeering and fraud. Oddly, no Jeri Ryan or Meg Ryan results popped up; I usually get those with "Ryan needs…" and "Ryan wants…" tests. Like, "Ryan needs a bra." Hah hah.

Why do these Internet "memes" amuse us so much, and why do they spread so rapidly through email, LiveJournal, MySpace, and other social networking sites? It's one of the more harmless social outgrowths of the Internet, and I believe it comes from a need to see how the random patterns of the world can circle around us as individuals. Seeing a computer screen spit back odd statement using your name, that special word that identifies you and that has lived with you since birth, appeals to a desire to see our very personal identifier used in strange ways. Your friends and family can tell you who you "is" ('scuse the awful English) if you ask them, but what does a random global network that links together corporations, homemakers, high school kids, charities, and pornographers think you "is"?

Or Is You Is or Is You Ain't My Baby?

Sorry, I just had to toss that Louis Jordan song lyric in there.

Remember, Ryan is cool by association.