Google has become such an integral part of our lives that it’s even become a verb in our daily vocabulary. From looking up song lyrics and recipes, to checking how a word is spelled, we rarely stay uninformed. Let’s fess up — we also Google people. Famous people, people we read about in a blog post and, of course, people we want to date. Which brings us to fact there’s a fine line between Google surfing and Google stalking.
Knowing too much too soon.
While it may be hard to imagine, people used to meet, mate and marry without consulting Google. But these days, the normal routine has become to meet someone at a party, exchange phone numbers and Google him before he even calls. Prior to the first date, you may know where he went to school, if he has recently broken up with someone or if he’s ever been in trouble. If he has a blog, you may even find out what he thought about meeting you.
Sometimes, doing some research before a first date can be a safe move because you can make sure you’re not about to meet up with someone who has a criminal record.
On the other hand, it can also be a bad thing. A first date is when you are supposed to get to know someone. If you’ve already learned about his likes and dislikes, where he sees his life going in the next five years and what his ex had to say about their sex life, you may have too much information. This can make the first date awkward, and if your date figures out you did deep research on him, he may feel like you are a potential stalker.
“Google has an algorithm,
but you have a heart.”
How much Google stalking is OK?
Of course, there are no absolutes when it comes to dating, but here are some guidelines to let you know if you have been peeking too much into your potential date’s life.
- You know personal details about him you wouldn’t want him to know about you at this point.
- You’ve read all the way back to his first tweet.
- You have clicked on the profiles of everyone who’s left him a comment on Facebook.
- You know he received an MVP award his last year on the high school track team and the name of the coach.
- You can’t find much, so you backtrack and find the person closest to him who has a more open Internet presence.
- You think about how to bring up all the coincidences on your Amazon wish lists.
- You find yourself Googling the name of a person who is in the same photo as him and go down another black hole of “research.”
- You know exactly when, where and why he broke up with an ex.
- You’ve know his parents’ address and looked at it on Google Maps.
- You’ve found out details about his sex life that quite simply aren’t your business at this point.
If any of those behaviors sound like you, it’s time to dial it back a bit. Let there be a bit of mystery in your dating life. Get to know your date in person. The way people come off simply based on online information isn’t always an indication of what they will be like in person.
The idea is that you should “Google stalk” your date just enough for safety purposes. Make sure they don’t have any criminal indictments pending and they aren’t married, but don’t go any deeper than that. Google has an algorithm, but you have a heart — and your heart will lead you to the man of your dreams more quickly than any search term.