The search engine. We use it almost every day – to get train times, find blogs on our favourite topics, even to see what a street looks like before we visit it. So why, then, is it something of a taboo to pop your partner (or future partner’s) name into Google?I’ve had work colleagues and friends admit they’ve googled me for one reason or another: to aid a collaborative project, find an image for a bio, to see if I’m famous… the list goes on.Although I definitely know
what’s out there on the world wide web when my name is used as a search term (don’t even try and say you’ve never searched yourself), I can’t help but feel a little violated when someone says I was their research project for the weekend.It’s an issue of privacy, I guess. Googling someone is a bit like going into their filing cabinet, looking at their CV, assessing the stamps in their passport and rooting through their 10-year-old photographs. The only difference is, unless they have access to your internet browser history or you tell them you’ve done it, they’d never know. Which is probably what’s a bit creepy here – you wouldn’t know if someone had dug up that digital dirt or not.
With all that said, a recent article suggests that googling your love interest is a good idea – especially when the person in question is someone you’ve ‘met’ online. Dating websites offer tonnes of information on a person’s traits, likes, dislikes, workplace, living arrangements and much more if they choose to share it. But, of course, the temptation to do a quick Google search for more info is always there if you feel something is missing.
I’ve found out before that people were lying about their jobs through the internet, and if I found out that a date was doing the same, and I was fairly certain of it, I’d know I couldn’t trust them!
Another thing to consider, though, is that the more you find out ‘unnaturally’ the less you have to discover through conversation and spending time together, which is certainly part of the fun of dating.
In all, I think it’s cool to get a few tidbits of information from the internet to take with a pinch of salt, but I think we can all agree that performing an MI5-quality background check might be a step too far.