Yes, I will Google You

by Emily Jasper on February 16, 2010

On my recent outing to Madison, I got to meet some neat people who were friends of my Brazen friends (so we’re all going to be friends now). They were asking me how I like Minnesota, and of course the topic of dating came up. As we were discussing attributes of the opposite sex that we find interesting, I mentioned that the online persona is just as important as what I find out in person. If the Google search turns up sketchy information, I’m a little hesitant.

“WHAT?!?! You GOOGLE them??”

This was the reaction of the group. Even my good friend from high school thought it was a little strange that I’ll Google someone after meeting them.

But why not?

If in meeting someone I give them my card or number, I assume that they’ll run home and Google me. If they’re networking, they’ll find me on LinkedIn. If they want to get to know me better, my blog and Brazen profile show up.

This is different from Facebook stalking.

Even if someone has a Facebook profile, I don’t spend time looking for ways around privacy settings. In fact, yay for privacy settings! Don’t ruin that first impression by having profile pics of you dancing with a red solo cup.

Perhaps this comes from meeting too many guys who like to stretch the truth a bit.

  • “Yes, I’m a vice president at my company.” LinkedIn says you’re the office assistant.
  • “I hate that twitter thing.” And yet you posted about our date…and that I’m a “sure thing” on our second date? Awesome.
  • “I don’t participate in dangerous behavior.” Except for your YouTube channel with Jackass-style stunts.

Thanks to search, you can turn up tons of basic information about people. Just as HR is looking you up for an interview, can’t I do the same thing? Don’t worry, I’ll give you the benefit of the doubt. If a profile of the same name for a different city pops up, I’m not going to assume it’s you. I know there are a few Emily Jaspers out there.

I like to connect online! I want to get to know you! It’s just in a little different way than we’re used to.

Do you Google people you meet? People you want to date? What about privacy? Or the traditional “getting to know you” stage?