There’s nothing new about researching potential dates, especially in the era of social media and Craig’s List killers. It’s Just Lunch, a dating-service, surveyed more than 1,100 users of their site in 2011 to gauge how their clients use Google when dating. They found about 43 percent of people Google their dates, while 88 percent are comfortable being Googled.
I am not a member of the 88 percent. No amount of normalcy associated with Googling a date or spouse lessens the creep factor associated with it.
Of course there’s a plus-side to conducting a Google search before heading to the restaurant or movie theater to meet a new beau. The search can reveal a violent criminal history or a Twitter timeline full of rape jokes. A dating blog recounts one extreme example of Googling-turned-savior:
In 2004, a New York City woman “Googled” her date only to find an FBI warrant out for his arrest. He had been dodging the law for nearly a year, stemming from stealing $100,000. When she decided not to turn up to dinner that Saturday, the Feds agreed to take her spot. This example is pretty extreme, but it does prove that by taking an innocent peek at someone’s online information, it’s possible to avoid a dangerous or awkward situation.
“Technology has changed so many things,” said Alana Beyer, senior communications manager for It’s Just Lunch. “It’s just a new avenue to learn about a new destination, a new book or your date.”
I had just started writing publicly when I went on a date in 2012. When we sat down for dinner and conversation, he knew more about me than I expected. He knew all of the nuances of my life, from my favorite television shows to my favorite color. Though I appreciated his interest, it was rather difficult to see-past his extensive investigation into my life. It was our first and last date, though I’m positive he’s commented on a blog post or two since we stopped communicating.
I might be in the minority here, so I turn this question over to you, the readers. It’s open thread time.